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Wayfarer64

Conflict in the Tao

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There has been mention of martial training and enlightened behaviors and the nature of conflict while seeking peaceful ways of being. Some tensions coming from differing systems of practice have been addressed. The conquering of our inner demons has been explored. Various tensions and conflicts have come up and gotten kicked around and tamed. The very possibility of conflict even existing within the Tao has been brought up recently. I wrote that Conflict is the 4th hexagram of the Yi Jing, and the admonishment within that judgement is that often there is a source of evil within ourselves or out in the world, and it is best to "nip it in the bud" as we see it first rear up.

 

Long ago I chose to take the path of the warrior and try to address the imbalances caused by greed and ignorance. When enough folks got together with Compassion for the victims of abusive power and a willingness to stand and fight along-side of them, often it was enough to change the course of events.

 

But within myself I still lusted after and craved power to satisfy somewhat more selfish goals as well. True love, glory for my ego, women for my bed, strength to gain my will's fullfillment...Vengance against those who had tormented me... Any number of striving attempts to reach enlightenment as well...These were all struggles and some remain struggles.

 

There is also a deep resonance for "letting go" within me and a capasity to be at peace and "light hearted" even when in miserable circumstances.

 

So I am seeking a new balance between the warrior and the free spirit.

A new meditation that may strengthen me to become more centered in these conflicting personal attributes/weaknesses.

 

I'm thinking Tai Chi may be the way for me to go now... Any ideas about these matters?

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I'm thinking Tai Chi may be the way for me to go now... Any ideas about these matters?

So I am seeking a new balance between the warrior and the free spirit.

 

Tai chi will help you out of your head and into your body.

A warrior and free spirit are not necessarily in conflict.

Edited by mYTHmAKER

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If you haven't read Trungpa's Shambhala, it's a great book. It covers warriorship without focusing on struggle or fighting. Also google the 4 enlightened actions: "pacifying, enriching, magnetizing, and destroying." Something I had heard once, was that it's best to focus on the pacifying and the enriching and leave the destroying on the periphery. Same with peaceful and wrathful deity practice... most growth occurs with peaceful type practices (and attitudes)... so that covers the Tibetan angle for you!

 

If you are shopping around for taichi forms, check out Winn's www.taichi-enlightenment.com. Winn's form has absolutely no martial application, but it's an amazing form he stumbled across.

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If you are shopping around for taichi forms, check out Winn's www.taichi-enlightenment.com. Winn's form has absolutely no martial application, but it's an amazing form he stumbled across.

 

If you really want to learn tai chi you need a live teacher. It is difficult to learn from a tape or DVD.

Unless you are the exception, most people have no idea of proper alignment and movement and lack

awareness of their bodies. Tai chi can be very subtle and there are many nuances.

It's not easy to see unless you have prior training.

As far as martial arts and tai chi chuan - it is a martial art. The chuan is the fisted.

You don't have to learn it for fighting but it helps to have an understanding of the meaning of the forms. It makes it easier to do them.

Short forms are for the twentieth century man in a hurry. Repeating a short form over and over is not the

same as doing a long form. There should be no hurry - it is the journey in learning that counts not rushing to the end. Take the time to visit classes where you live and see which form appeals to you and whether or not

you like the teacher.

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Primordial Qigong is easy enough to learn from a DVD without personal instruction. Of course if you want to get personal instruction you can. I would definetly try it out for awhile and see what happens. I find it to be very heart centered and profound.

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I have heard yin and yang described as forces in conflict. You can see it in many natural forces, such as magnetism, black holes, volcanoes. All forces in conflict. If there were no room for conflict in the Tao there would be no conflict. There would probably be no physical reality for that matter!

Also IMO Tai Chi Chuan without the martial applications is useless. You don't learn what the movements mean until you learn the applications. My teacher taught us a sparring form while we simultaneously learned the long form. This was very effective. I did find some health benefits as well. Such as the disappearance of asthma, straightening of the spine. Gotta have a live teacher who understands the martial applications though. Thats the tough part.

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I count myself very lucky to have a very gifted tai chi teacher who can show me the martial arts applications to many of the moves within the forms - it does give some very helpful understanding of the nuances.

 

Tai chi to me feels like expansion and contraction...the force moves out when necessary and the force stores up internally when necessary - always at a balance.

 

Wayfarer - if you do follow the tai chi path and it does provide some balance between the warrier/free spirits aspects of your personality, I would be very happy to hear about your experiences.

 

Good luck with it!

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There is also a deep resonance for "letting go" within me and a capasity to be at peace and "light hearted" even when in miserable circumstances.

 

So I am seeking a new balance between the warrior and the free spirit.

A new meditation that may strengthen me to become more centered in these conflicting personal attributes/weaknesses.

 

I'm thinking Tai Chi may be the way for me to go now... Any ideas about these matters?

 

Wayfarer,

 

Have you tried simple awareness/vipassana sitting meditation? Applying the logic of the elements, if fire is your problem, you can counter that with water. Vipassana-inspired meditation is very much like that, and if practiced diligently over a period of time, tends to cool you off. I can attest to that personally.

 

My personal starting point for this technique, and recommended book is Mindfulness in Plain English. It is published for free here:

 

http://www.realization.org/page/namedoc0/mipe/mipe_0.htm

 

SN Goenka offers 10 day vipassana courses for free as well. www.dhamma.org. I've only done one course but I thought it was remarkable.

 

BK Frantzis methods are similarly based in his Opening the Energy Gates of the Body and his Taoist Methods of Water Meditation Series, but I have not practiced them personally.

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Thanks to one & all,

What a font of info here! I'll look into these suggested ways to proceed while I maintain my basic daily meditations & long walks as well...

This is more a matter of strengthening my balance than "anger managment" - so this has been very useful.

 

I am also still curious about people's perception of conflict in Taoist (and non-Taoist ) Philosophy. When is it ok to use force? Should there be room for preemption against rising evils, and if so how do we deside what is the lesser of the two? I do not want this to be about the Iraq situation etc... just our own lives...With so many martial artists among us, it seems relavent to ask...

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I am also still curious about people's perception of conflict in Taoist (and non-Taoist ) Philosophy. When is it ok to use force? Should there be room for preemption against rising evils, and if so how do we deside what is the lesser of the two? I do not want this to be about the Iraq situation etc... just our own lives...With so many martial artists among us, it seems relavent to ask...

 

I think a short definition of force can help this topic:

 

Force

1 physical strength or energy as an attribute of action or movement

2 coercion backed by the use of threat or violence

3 mental or moral power. An influential person or thing.

4 an organised body of military personnel, police, or workers

 

1 depending on the purpose can be used for very positive results.

 

2 It is never ok to use force. Its counter dao, its the opposite of natural change and growth and will only bring problems.

 

3 Tai chi teaches us that when we meet with an incoming force we yeald, then redirect the incoming force. Through this redirection the force is neutralised so we are in a better situation to deal with it. Taking that force head on expends a lot of energy and causes problems hence the tai chi tenent 'redirecting a 1000lb with 4 ounces'. We use mental and moral power to develop our minds and body.

 

4 These organised bodies are essential for a safe and cohesive society but can also be used for very negative purpose.

 

So you can see that force has a relevance in our lives and necessary for our progession. Hopefully we can practice the right kind of force. It should never be contrived but should follow naturally and be perfect for that moment.

 

Does that help?

 

hand forged hand folded custom tai chi swords

www.masterforge.co.uk

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I am also still curious about people's perception of conflict in Taoist (and non-Taoist ) Philosophy. When is it ok to use force? Should there be room for preemption against rising evils, and if so how do we deside what is the lesser of the two? I do not want this to be about the Iraq situation etc... just our own lives...With so many martial artists among us, it seems relavent to ask...

This is a deep study. In taichi, many people misunderstand yielding. It's not withdrawing, you never withdraw from a force. You meet and blend with a force. You have to know the force before you can redirect it. Withdrawing is a defect in your skills. Taichi or good aikido is the best way to work with and understand forces and the abstract/spiritual implications. In taichi, your opponent's force is what does him in. But in order to do that you need to accept the force, you need to listen to it. So it's not about being a wuss or non action or some of the other pacificistic ideas bandied about when discussing taichi. It takes courage to meet and accept an aggressive force, it takes warriorship to return to balance (wuji). This is a state of presence..of being. It's not about attacking in mindless reflex state..

T

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Thanks to one & all,

What a font of info here! I'll look into these suggested ways to proceed while I maintain my basic daily meditations & long walks as well...

This is more a matter of strengthening my balance than "anger managment" - so this has been very useful.

 

I am also still curious about people's perception of conflict in Taoist (and non-Taoist ) Philosophy. When is it ok to use force? Should there be room for preemption against rising evils, and if so how do we deside what is the lesser of the two? I do not want this to be about the Iraq situation etc... just our own lives...With so many martial artists among us, it seems relavent to ask...

 

I think ,as daoists who revere the phenomenal world & value it as a display of the Divine,there are certainly times when our own conscience,our REAL conscience revealed through the depths of our contemplations,prompts us into defence.And sometimes defence HAS to be pre-emptive.

 

But once again,we reach this undertstanding through deep perception,not simplistic legal codes,& this is where Tai Ji DOES come in (amongst other disciplines) as a sensitiser & expander of our perceptions,& our concepts of 'force" & 'action'.

 

I think its most commendable to get a real,kinesthetic feel for different kinds of 'force',& this kind of deep learning will open up new options of action/inaction to you.

 

Regards,Cloud :)

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I think ,as daoists who revere the phenomenal world & value it as a display of the Divine,there are certainly times when our own conscience,our REAL conscience revealed through the depths of our contemplations,prompts us into defence.And sometimes defence HAS to be pre-emptive.

Hi Cloud, sometimes what appears pre-emptive is really not. For example someone with an intention to punch me gets hit first. To an observer, I was pre-emptive, when in fact I was responding to subtle queues of the attack..

T

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I've mentioned him before but here it goes again..

 

Since you are in the US right?

Check out Sam Chin's Iliqchuan www.iliqchuan.com

 

When I first saw him move I knew this was the way I wanted to move.

 

Maybe I can gather enough of people here interested in bringing him here for an intensive seminar.

 

I've got problems with my knee from incorrect knee positioning while training yang-style. But that's just my own fault. Right now I need a style with a more open bow-stance. Iliqchuan seems to have that and a lot more.

 

But then again there is also a He Liu Ba Fa school in Copenhagen hidden behind the auspicious name of Hua Yue Taichi. www.huayuetaichi.dk

 

Hmmm....

 

So many choices, so little time.

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When I first saw him move I knew this was the way I wanted to move.

Out of curiosity...what is it that you saw that made you want to move like him..??

T

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Out of curiosity...what is it that you saw that made you want to move like him..??

T

 

 

 

A russian tv demo where in the end we can se sam perform a part of Iliqchuans fast and stunning "Butterfly Form"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NiN6jo0n0U

Watch the flowing "water-boxing" flavour to Sammie Chin's "21 Form", Iliqchuan looks like taichi, yiquan and other influences, but it's still something different. For me this is absolutely beautiful.

 

Fa-jing & Splitting force. Notice that one arm fa-jing.. rezpect! It's fun to see how the russian spetznaz types get all soft and giggling around him..

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MasterForge-

Thanks for the definitions and added perspective - they helped this thread a whole lot!

Getting a sense of the many ways of seeing and being from various Tao Bums adding to these threads has been a series of true revealations for me these past weeks.

 

The trustful sharing of selves and the opening of hearts and minds is a great boon for our collective and seperate progressions.

 

And man - those seem to be incredible swords!!! Glimpsing them through cyberspace just isn't "cutting it" . I hope to visit the forge one day.

 

Namaste-Pat

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A russian tv demo where in the end we can se sam perform a part of Iliqchuans fast and stunning "Butterfly Form"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NiN6jo0n0U

Watch the flowing "water-boxing" flavour to Sammie Chin's "21 Form", Iliqchuan looks like taichi, yiquan and other influences, but it's still something different. For me this is absolutely beautiful.

 

Fa-jing & Splitting force. Notice that one arm fa-jing.. rezpect! It's fun to see how the russian spetznaz types get all soft and giggling around him..

I missed your intro, but what's your experience with internal martial arts? I wanted to dig up some clips for you to see what you think..gotta run for now..

T

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The Tao Teh Ching says simply:

 

"He will accomplish only the killing that is necessary, and not the least bit more.

His greatest sorrow will be that war could not be averted. "

 

I think it is self-explanatory that engaging in self defense is entirely acceptable, and thus martial arts are entirely aacceptable. It is a good experience. I studied some Wushu and enjoyed the activities, it moves you in new ways.

 

But to revel in violence is certainly moronic.

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Seek a defensive art. Tai Chi is a good choice. Avoid fu fu teachers who won't teach you the martial applications. Your sword has an edge, if someone runs into it while your getting out of the way they sent out what they get back. In boxing I think it's called being a counter puncher.

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Hi Cloud, sometimes what appears pre-emptive is really not. For example someone with an intention to punch me gets hit first. To an observer, I was pre-emptive, when in fact I was responding to subtle queues of the attack..

T

 

Thaddeus,I concur :)

 

But is it not possible that a truly pre-emptive attack is also a valid option for daoists.At certain times,& probably quite rare times.But valid nonetheless?

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Pre-emptive seems like you mean pre-action but not pre-thought. Isn't there some Tai Chi Classics to quote on this subject?

 

A russian tv demo where in the end we can se sam perform a part of Iliqchuans fast and stunning "Butterfly Form"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NiN6jo0n0U

Watch the flowing "water-boxing" flavour to Sammie Chin's "21 Form", Iliqchuan looks like taichi, yiquan and other influences, but it's still something different. For me this is absolutely beautiful.

 

Fa-jing & Splitting force. Notice that one arm fa-jing.. rezpect! It's fun to see how the russian spetznaz types get all soft and giggling around him..

 

 

That guy is Chuaned up. I like his proportional variability, not boring to watch. Nice arm forearm spirals.

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