joeblast

Taoist Yoga Discussion thread

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Chapter One opens with fixing the spirit in the tsu chiao, original cavity of spirit in between the eyes. Withdrawing the senses so as to have the best start when preparing the elixir of immortality.

 

It is the focusing of this at the cavity of vitality that produces the true vitality and the accumulation of such, and after long training, unites with eternal life to become one whole.

 

Just this one simple tactic is half the battle of anapana.

 

Let's proceed :)

Edited by joeblast
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Great. Now I guess the discussion like you said starts with the first Chapter. What does one understand about this chapter and their experiences with it? How does one actually use the eyes to focus on the upper dan tian and also focus on the lower dan tian.

 

This thread would be great to cross-examine all of the chapters as they relate to each other.

 

 

Drew put out some really good stuff. Someone should transfer what he said onto here. You have to read it about ten times to finally understand. haha

Edited by malikshreds

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Chapter One opens with fixing the spirit in the tsu chiao, original cavity of spirit in between the eyes. Withdrawing the senses so as to have the best start when preparing the elixir of immortality.

 

It is the focusing of this at the cavity of vitality that produces the true vitality and the accumulation of such, and after long training, unites with eternal life to become one whole.

 

Just this one simple tactic is half the battle of anapana.

 

Let's proceed :)

Don't delete it. The tone of this thread feels different.

 

You can approach this as anapana with the understanding of anapana as 'breath-work', but then the withdrawl of the senses and returning the spirit can be understood to be an inherent first step with any meditation practice.

 

There is also approaching this as anapana from the understanding of anapana being purely about the movement of 'energy' and not having anything to do with breathing.

 

Drawing the light of the shen into one line and bringing it back to the zuqiao (sorry pinyin makes more sense to me) is an interesting phenomenon that affects the whole of the qi in the head not simply the 'upper' dantian.

 

In the Daoist practice there is a simultaneous expansion and narrowing, unlike the Buddhist methods I was taught which utilised a narrow focal concentration. The Daoism I learned also critiques the Buddhist method of fixatation at the nose, saying that this can lead to problems by drawing things upwards too much. This is actually inline with several independant studies regarding meditation and brain activity.

 

I want to stress that the movement of the qi and the eyes is a very real and fairly easily felt phenomenon. Simply closing the eyes is not the same as shifting the movement to an absorpative one with the energy that was being sent outwards now actually coming in. I have been taught variations of this in many diferent qigong schools, as well as in shamanism and schools of magic. And while it is not exactly the same thing as returning the shen to zuqiao within alchemy there is, in my experience at least, a relationship.

 

Meditating without capping this off, is like boiling a pan and not putting a lid on it, the steam/energy generated just goes straight out rather than being contained.

 

There is also a very real difference between trying to 'charge' the abdominal dantian through 'bellows' breathing, which moves a lot of blood, and filling the dantian with shen and light. The former is not so tied to returning the shen to zuqiao.

 

Best,

Edited by snowmonki
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the topic is very taoist, but i am in agreement with snowmonki about leaving it here in general discussion area.

also, i wanted to bring Ge Hong into the discussion and how he relates to Taoist Yoga, or if he does?

 

http://www.taoiststudy.com/content/zhong-l%C3%BC-chuan-dao-ji-%E9%90%98%E5%91%82%E5%82%B3%E9%81%93%E9%9B%86%E9%92%9F%E5%90%95%E4%BC%A0%E9%81%93%E9%9B%86

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Well the mods can MOVE the thread to the Tao Forum if they want, no problem with that. But I just didn't want the whole thread DELETED.

 

It's not like we haven't had multiple threads on the same topic but discussing it differently before :o

 

:D

Edited by snowmonki

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Hi snowmonki. :) It appears I must have missed something. Would you say (again) what you mean by "capping this off?"

 

Hi RV,

 

It is not a one thing only thing. Why generate energy if you lose it because you didn't put the lid on? That is what I mean by 'capping it off'. Preventing leakage doesn't just happen down below ;)

 

The idea is to develop plasticity and choice and know why you do one thing or another at any given time. People seem to hold dearly to something and think that is all there is. Why put a lid on, or when, why not put a lid on and when?

 

This plasticity is largely an automatic aspect of jingdonggong as passed on by Ya Mu. The energetics are not a method (do A, do B, do C and so on), they happen because the circumstances are "correct". The methods out and about are because people are chasing the "correct" circumstances.

 

It is my opinion, and I stress my opinion that in our line it is summed up as "stop the world".

 

Best,

Edited by snowmonki
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the topic is very taoist, but i am in agreement with snowmonki about leaving it here in general discussion area.

also, i wanted to bring Ge Hong into the discussion and how he relates to Taoist Yoga, or if he does?

 

http://www.taoiststudy.com/content/zhong-l%C3%BC-chuan-dao-ji-%E9%90%98%E5%91%82%E5%82%B3%E9%81%93%E9%9B%86%E9%92%9F%E5%90%95%E4%BC%A0%E9%81%93%E9%9B%86

Do you have an English version of it? I haven't learned to read Chinese yet. Gonna pick back on it this summer and see if they have a Chinese language class in College.

Edited by malikshreds

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Friend,

 

That is WAY too complicated for me. And I feel it is wholly unecessary. People have always liked words and to complicate things, we know this was the case even before Daoism proper was established, otherwise we would not have the Lao Zi.

 

You are far in your path, and so can see the truth in the words, but for me, it is still meaningless.

 

I like simplicity, maybe that is why I have ended up where I have? Who knows :blush:

 

Best,

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Capturing Friend's post nonetheless, snowmonki... :)

:D

 

Okay let me clarify/add something further regarding this.

 

There is nothing to move from A-B-C or to anywhere, it is a falsification that occurs when we try to describe something.

 

The same with ningshen 凝神, it has less to do with gathering the shen than it does letting go of that which prevents it from gathering.

 

People talk too much as though these things are dead and mechanical, they are not, they are alive and organic and have a nature. This is half of what the Daoist texts are trying to impart. Just let them BE! Then things will happen, you don't have to do anything or make anything do anything.

 

Everything has de, which is "virtue" but not in the modern sense, in the old English sense "an effective, active, or inherent power or force", this is why de is translated as virtue, not because it has anything to do with morals/ethics*.

 

The Shen wants to go outwards, it also wants to come back. So the better question is, why does it go out and not come back?

 

The next question is what is the natural relationship and consequence of having the shen either "out" or "in" (to talk simplistically). And then of course yin-yang becomes taiji and I know Friend is aware of what I speak of ;) how does the shen go out but stay in, or come in and stay out?

 

Best,

 

* I want to clarify that there are always multiple levels of meaning to any Chinese term, and certainly in more recent times de is used in the context of morals/ethics in some circumstances. I am however highlighting an older meaning and implication that was tied to the context of the terms use in old Daoist texts.

Edited by snowmonki

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PAGE: Preface xii

 

 

Taoist alchemy forsakes the worldly way of life by preventing the generative force which produces the generative fluid from flowing its ordinary course which satisfies sexual desire and procreates offspring.

 

Ok, fair enough. This is clear.

 

 

By regulated breathing is meant deep breathing that reaches the lower abdomen to arouse the inner fire and then bring pressure on the generative force already held there forcing both fire and generative force to rise in the channel of control in the spine to the head.

 

I am guessing this pressure from the breathing during the closing mechanism means the diagphragm pressing down on the LDT on the in-breath?

 

 

These continued ascents and descents cleanse and purify the generative force which is then held in the lower tan t'ien under the navel so that it can be transmuted into vitality.

 

SO generative force is JING, which is driven into the orbit and through the cleansing and purification steps at D and J is converted into QI. So basically Its just rotating in this stream and every time it turns into Qi through D and J, it deposits a little newly formed QI into the MDT until the MDT is filled?

 

PAGE: Preface xiii

For Drew:

 

WHILE
putting the generative force into orbit it is of paramount importance to locate the original cavity of spirit in the brain which is precisely where a light manifests in the head when the practicer succeeds in concentrating his seeing effectively on the central spot between and behind the eyes. If this is not done the radiant inner fire rising to the head during the microcosmic orbiting may be mistaken for that light and wrongly driven into a minor psychic center in the head from which it will be very difficult to dislodge it.

 

See this is what Drew meant, that it can be done BOTH ways. It is what I understand as well, that you can either start by developing JING then QI then SHEN or first SHEN then QI then JING.

 

So, WHILE putting the generative force into orbit... This means you've already initiated the MCO, so they are talking about the JING/QI/SHEN transformation route here, and not the SHEN/QI/JING as in in chapter one where you're advised to first Fix Spirit In It's Original Cavity. Please share your opinions.

Edited by effilang

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...the purpose of regulated breathing is to draw the force up to the lower tan t'ien cavity under the navel so as to hold it there and transmute it into an alchemical agent which is transformed into vitality in the solar plexus.

This one confuses me. Can someone elaborate?

 

It is in the solar plexus that the generative force (now the alchemical agent) is transmuted into vitality which rises to the brain (ni wan) where the vital breath, hithero hidden and dormant, will be stirred by well regulated breathing which will prevent it from dispersing.

Oh, I think this just made the last one clear. So Generative Force turns to the Outer Alchemical Agent through emptiness meditation to cook it, then it rises to the MDT to turn to Vitality, or more accurately... IT doesn't RISE, but rather the Cauldron coagulates into existence as the drops of QI condence into the MDT through the MCOs rotations?

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PAGE: Preface xiv

 

When the generative force is cleansed and purified during the microcosmic orbiting and becomes the alchemical agent, it rises to the solar plexus which then plays the role of the middle cauldron in which the generative force is transmuted into vitality. When vitality is purified it rises to the ni way or brain which then becomes the precious cauldron in which vitality is transmuted into spirit.

 

...the practicer thus lays the foundation by gathering the
microcosmic outer alchemical agent
to restore the generative force that has dispersed and so to invigorate the brain.
blockquote>

So in TY, laying the foundation is considered manifesting the Cauldron in the ni wan, rather than just opening the MCO as as described in other books?

 

PAGE: Preface xv

The microcosmic inner alchemical agent is now gathered by roling the eyes from left to right in conjunction with the microcosmic fire that passes through sublimating phases at the four cardinal points of the microcosmic orbit. This process is called the inner copulation of the positive and negative principles. It means that vitality, driven by ventilation (breathing) and (inner) fire, soars up and down so that the vital breath in the brain units with the nervous system, causing spirit to develop and its bright light to manifest; this is commonly called the preparation of the golden elixir. This bright light is the mysterious gate (hsuan kuan) which is indescribable and from which spirit emerges for the breakthrough.

 

This BRIGHT LIGHT is hsuan kuan, FROM which spirit emerges. So the bright light is not spirit?

Edited by effilang

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The eyes are positive, whereas the rest of the body is negative. Therefore, when the outer alchemical agent has been gathered, it is necessary to roll the eyes to unite the positive with the negative principles in order to develop spirit in the bright light that emerges from the original cavity between and behind the eyes. This bright light shows the exact position of that cavity and should not be confounded with the luminous inner fire that rises to the head during the microcosmic orbiting as we have said earlier.

 

 

I still have a difficulty understanding EXACTLY what encompasses the successful gathering of the OUTER alchemical agent.

 

This is important, because one must know when to roll the eyes to copulate the negative vitality of the outer alchemical agent with the positive vitality of the inner alchemical agent to produce spirit, which should be plunged into the LDT to be enveloped my Vitality.

 

 

In Taoist yoga the negative vitality is represented by the dragon and the positive by the tiger, while their copulation brings into manifestation the original spirit in its bright light.

 

Hmm...

 

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For Drew:

 

When original or prenatal spirit manifests thus, it should be driven into the lower tan t'ien center under the navel to fix it there

 

 

When the vital breath moving up and down in the thrusting channel does not rise above the heart (the house of fire) and drop below he lower abdomen (the house of water) it will slip into this cavity under the navel, causing the sudden manifestation of true serenity.

 

By not moving above X and below Y, do they mean that it is held there by concentration and when held onto there it will of its own slip into the LDT?

 

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PAGE: Preface xvi

 

The practicer should now concentrate on the lower tan t'ien cavity under the navel until vitality vibrates there, then lift it to the heart (the seat of fire) and lower it to the lower abdomen (the seat of water) with continued ascents and descents in the thrusting channel until suddenly it slips into that cavity; this is called re-entry into the foetus for further creativity and is the outcome of linking the heart (fire) with the lower abdomen (Water).
Spirit which has been fixed there will be enveloped by vitality until both unite into a whole
,
called
the
immortal foetus
in the state of complete serenity.

 

So the LDT vibrates more than once? At the initial stages of practice before the MCO and then later again?

 

So the immortal foetus is SPIRIT enveloped by VITALITY in the LDT. Sort of like a human foteus in amniotic fluid?

 

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I understand now through reading what I just posted why rolling the eyes from A to D to G to J is also used to control things like lower sexual emotions of arousal that can cause ejaculation. >> Because that is negative, so by rolling the positive eyes and initiating the MCO u UNITE them and the Negativity is purified in the orbit.

 

I guess this is why Drew says to do reverse breathing when the pervs are on you. I think you should roll your eyes too Drew to unite the two vitalities into one.

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In fun we are talking about Taoist Yoga. Because in each stuff there is something it can offer, small gems not the big one.

 

If I have only a short easy sentence :"If you practise your qigong daily while centering your awareness on your Dan Tian, your energy center will rise and NATURALLY open each energy center WHEN IT IS THE CORRECT

TIME FOR DOING SO! Nothing else is needed! Never try to artificially open these energy center which some call Chakras"

"A Light Warriors Guide Michael Lomax" Page 180-181.

 

This would be High Level. And common sense would say: "Drop all other stuff."

 

But well we talk about a "low level" Taoist Yoga. Mechanical Qigong and not High Level Qigong.

You know sometimes despite of all High Level stuff a good Chicken Broth is the solution.

Never said not to have fun, have you seen most of my posts! :D

 

"But well we talk about a "low level" Taoist Yoga. Mechanical Qigong and not High Level Qigong."

 

I completely disagree with this :o:P;) .

 

Daoist yoga low level or mechanical? huh :blink:

 

Just because when people try to describe something and put it into words it becomes dry, and then people read it and perceive what is being said as dry and mechanical does not make it so!

 

There is no low-high level discrepency here except in the imagination.

 

That people continue to perceive Daoist alchemy as a series of steps that they must practice to attain something, rather than a process that simply is and unfolds, is well, a problem with reading books.

 

This is the biggest mistake, and the funniest paradoxical position, and I know the Chinese are laughing!

 

As far as I'm concerned, any interpretation/translation/understanding that enables someone to 'get' something better, and to have that aha! moment where something inside of them can reach further towards the Dao, that is the right interpretation/translation/understanding. This is how I was taught to view things, but it also makes the most sense to me. The next bit is realising that the process is dynamic and there was never meant to be only one way to see these things. Meaning if you overly attach or hold on to that aha! moment, you will not grow and move to the next one.

 

I keep seeing people, scholars included, reading texts modern and ancient as though what is described are stages or steps in a "method" a 1-2-3-and on. Ironically this is not how the Chinese themselves viewed learning or development, and the perceived grammer is usually not present in the original Chinese text, it appears only in the English attempts to translate it.

 

Master Wang simply did away with all this kerfuffle by teaching directly and simply. We should not forget that classically the Chinese always had "teach the student, starve the student" in mind.

 

So I ask, in all honesty. What is the actual difference, alchemy is alchemy no?

 

Best,

Edited by snowmonki
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Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality: Chapter One: The Correct Method is Stilling the Heart

http://fulllotusqigong.blogspot.com/2013/06/taoist-yoga-alchemy-and-immortality.html

 

Damn it, Drew you made me dig out my copy! I liked most of what you wrote, but I still think you make it sound different to what is actually being discussed.

 

The thing is, the relationship between the zuqiao the various dantian [ I am under the impression that the use of upper/middle/lower dantian is an addition by Lu K'uan Yu in the translation] and so on is something that is certainly confusing. Zhao appears to have intentionally made it so by constantly using various names and terms, but this is quite a Chinese thing. They like various names because of Lao Zi.

 

I largely agree with you, and certainly that chpt one is not about upper dantian cultivation. However I do want to point something out, as I see it at least.

 

"It is only when true vitality develops.... that the latter is called the precious cauldron." p. 10, Chapter Two.

 

I do not read this as meaning that the upper dantian does not exist before the true vitality is 'developed'. It means that the name is changed, because the nature of it has been changed by the development of 'true vitality'. The 'upper dantian' is there, but after the true vitality develops it becomes the 'precious cauldron'. Maybe we are just saying the same thing, but it seemed different to me, so I mention it just in case.

 

There are always big problems being precise, especially with translations, it has always appeared to me that the English text is as much product of Lu K'uan Yu's practice and understanding of such things, as Zhao Bichen's.

 

Simply put, as with many Daoist alchemical texts a lot of the language is smoke and mirrors to distract you from the actual method involved, which is usually far more simple than many want to hear. I suppose people, regardless of time and place and race or creed often crave complexity. I've been taught that it is more a case of simple but deep, and the effort should not be in understanding the method, but in doing it.

 

Let me clarify that statement. What I mean is that the effort should not be in having to understand what you are doing. You are taught something and you do it. If you have to spend a long time trying to even understand the method, then something is not right. I do not mean there should never be any effort in pondering the method and deepening ones understanding of it. That is not the same thing.

 

The former is a half complete puzzle that the student is trying to solve, and until they do so, their gongfu will be lacking. The latter is having been given something, and then going further with it. This is an important difference.

 

The zuqiao has no single location. It is inherently tied to the eyes, the 'core' of the cranium, the shen and to the heart. It's nature and the experience of it adjusts and changes according to your 'gongfu', which really shouldn't be much surprise, since everything shifts according to your 'gongfu'.

 

Do not chase a definitive understanding, because the Chinese never did. So if you project that onto what they have left behind, then you are bringing something to the table that will get in the way of understanding what they were doing and talking about. Everything rooted in classical Chinese thought is rooted in the yi jing, meaning nothing is fixed, and everything changes. In Daoism the only thing bigger than change is Dao, which is why if you name something, it is not the "chang Dao" (constant Dao).

 

There is no stage 1, stage 2 etc. It is an illusion. The method is the method, the changes occur but the method remains, the elements of the method change, or in modern terms "get an upgrade", and so the method goes deeper, and round and round we go.

 

Best,

Edited by snowmonki
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