cheya

Riding the Phoenix to Penglai

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I have not read this exact book but i have read the original. The author mainly keeps missing the point wildly, like e.g  on the link above she pontificates for an entire page on the 'taming the dragon' without ever mentioning that it specifically refers to  the physical elimination of the menses.

 

...her own guesswork notwithstanding the translation per se is more or less palatable, so it could be a useful read all in all.

Edited by Taoist Texts
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I have read the book “Riding the Phoenix to Penglai.”  I was very impressed with Ms. Gonet’s work on both her translation and her commentary.  

 

 

The two sets of poems by Sun Bu-Er are instructions on internal elixir cultivation.  It can be extremely difficult and challenging to translate such poems from Chinese to English if the author has no personal experience and realization from internal cultivation. 

 

I found that the English poems are elegant and exquisite with clarity and realization.  Ms. Gonet’s work not only expresses the quality of her scholarship but also reflects her internal cultivation and achievement.  For example, 收心 (shouxin) has been translated to English as “Closing mind” (http://yang-sheng.com/?page_id=55) or "Restraining the Mind" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuowang.   However, Ms. Gonet translated the first poem title 收心 (shouxin) as “Recalling the Mind.”  This is an excellent translation and great start because it not only makes perfect sense for internal cultivation and Qigong practice, but also expresses great alignment with Lao Zi’s Dao De Jing and the teachings of the Complete Reality school, such as Lü Dongbin and Wang Chongyang, regarding the importance of directing the mind from an outward to an inward focus.

 

I am surprised to read the statement in Hobo’s post: “The author mainly keeps missing the point wildly, like e.g  on the link above she pontificates for an entire page on the 'taming the dragon' without ever mentioning that it specifically refers to  the physical elimination of the menses.”

 

Poem four “Taming the Dragon” has nothing to do with the physical elimination of the menses from the original Chinese poem.  It would be very helpful if Hobo would share a version of English translation for detailed discussion on this topic.  From the view of internal cultivation, Ms. Gonet’s commentary on pages 42-43 is outstanding and inspiring, particularly her additional essay on this topic on pages 90-92, is brilliant with the Western classical comparison between Eros and Thanatos.  

 

I don’t think that Ms. Gonet’s work is her own guesswork.  I believe that her work is associated with her many years of internal cultivation and studies.  There are a very few reference books about internal cultivation for female practitioners.  This book can be a very valuable reference and immensely helpful for female internal cultivators.  I greatly appreciate Ms. Gonet’s exceptional translation and commentary. 

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I am surprised to read the statement in Hobo’s post: “The author mainly keeps missing the point wildly, like e.g  on the link above she pontificates for an entire page on the 'taming the dragon' without ever mentioning that it specifically refers to  the physical elimination of the menses.”

 

Poem four “Taming the Dragon” has nothing to do with the physical elimination of the menses from the original Chinese poem.  

HI;)

 

 
 

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Once again, poem four “Taming the Dragon” has nothing to do with the physical elimination of the menses, from the original Chinese poem, if you read the book and the content of the poem carefully.

 

In traditional Chinese culture, Ancient Chinese Dragons are ultimate symbols of cosmic Chi (energy). It is said to be the most potent symbol of good fortune in the Chinese pantheon of symbols (http://www.whats-your-sign.com/Chinese-dragons.html).  Red Dragon represents the root source of life, the nurturance and support of primary being, and within it, are found the primal waters of unity. Red Dragon represents the energy matrix lines that look like a web in the universe, through which all points are connected in time and space (http://www.astrodreamadvisor.com/Pages/red_gal_dragon.html).

 

 

In traditional internal alchemy and authentic Qi cultivation, Dragons are symbols of creativity and vitality.  Sometimes Dragon represents the functions of the liver and sometimes Dragon represents the power of the reproductive system, the essence of the Jing.  During the internal cultivation process, Dragon may have different meanings at different stages of internal cultivation.  For example, Master Lü Dongbin’s poem “Bathing” as follows:

 

沐 浴:

 

卯酉门中作用时,

赤龙时蘸玉清池,

 云薄薄,

雨微微,

看取妖容露雪肌。

 

The second phrase says: The red dragon, who often dips into the clear jade pond.  Do you understand the meaning of the red dragon in this poem?  Can you help me to complete the translation of this poem?    

 

Taoist Texts or Hobo takes the meaning of Dragon from the fourth poem of Sun Bu-Er’s sequence to mean the elimination of physical menses, without reading the text and content of the poem, and then criticize Ms. Gonet’s translation as “keeps missing the point wildly…” which is misleading.  Ms. Gonet’s translation and commentary on the fourth poem “Taming the Dragon” showed her understanding on internal cultivation and the important step of transforming the Jing to Qi for nourishing the Shen.  It brings fresh air and new energy flow to internal cultivation from the view of the Complete Reality school. 

 

Thank you for sharing Dr. Elena Valussi’s article “Women’s Qigong in America Tradition, Adaptation, and New Trends.”  The article examines ten publications on women’s qigong known as nüdan or female alchemy.  This article is interesting and informative. 

 

I am wondering if the emphasis on the practice of “Slaying the Red Dragon- the physical elimination of the menses,” is actually appropriate for Women’s Qigong practice. 

 

Regarding the menstruation cycle, it is a good sign that the body is functioning normally. Menstruation is the outward proof that a girl is becoming a woman. Having a normal and healthy period means your body is functioning well.  The menstrual cycle is a proof of fertility, vitality and creativity.

 

“Slaying the Red Dragon” uses a technique of breast massage and internal visualization to eliminate the physical menses, but is this really a healthy practice for women?  Who used this technique of “Slaying the Red Dragon- the physical elimination of the menses,” to gain female elixir and achieve immortality successfully? 

 

Qigong practice should improve health and wellbeing and the quality of people’s lives, including enhancing the functions of the reproductive system.  Menstruation has important functions for women’s health.  It should be respected, valued and honored but not repressed and abused.  I hope that Women’s Qigong practice in US will grow and flourish, and with great health and realization. 

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Once again, poem four “Taming the Dragon” has nothing to do with the physical elimination of the menses, from the original Chinese poem, if you read the book and the content of the poem carefully.

 

Alrighty then;)

 

 

The second phrase says: The red dragon, who often dips into the clear jade pond.  Do you understand the meaning of the red dragon in this poem? 

Yes. Yes I do.

 

 

 

Can you help me to complete the translation of this poem?    

I will be honored to.

 

 

渔父词一十八首·沐浴 Bathing

 

卯酉门中作用时,赤龙时蘸玉清池。

云薄薄,雨微微,看取妖容露雪肌。

 

This is the time of work by the Mao-You gate,

The scarlet dragon immerses in the Pool of Clean Jade.

Thinly-thin are the clouds, tiny-tiny it rained,

Take a look at the charming appearance of the snow-white skin unveiled.

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渔父词一十八首·沐浴 Bathing

Translation by Taoist Texts

 

卯酉门中作用时,赤龙时蘸玉清池。


云薄薄,雨微微,看取妖容露雪肌。

 

This is the time of work by the Mao-You gate,

The scarlet dragon immerses in the Pool of Clean Jade.

Thinly-thin are the clouds, tiny-tiny it rained,

Take a look at the charming appearance of the snow-white skin unveiled.

___________________________________________________________________

 

Thank you so much for translating this poem for me.  Your translation is lovely, charming, delightful and excellent.  Your poem translation as art itself is very successful. 

 

Master Lü Dongbin is not only an excellent poet, but also a profound internal cultivator.  This poem contains internal cultivation advice and instructions.  It would be great if you would write a commentary regarding the meaning of this poem and the advice and instructions for internal cultivators. 

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渔父词一十八首·沐浴 Bathing

Translation by Taoist Texts

 

卯酉门中作用时,赤龙时蘸玉清池。


云薄薄,雨微微,看取妖容露雪肌。

 

This is the time of work by the Mao-You gate,

The scarlet dragon immerses in the Pool of Clean Jade.

Thinly-thin are the clouds, tiny-tiny it rained,

Take a look at the charming appearance of the snow-white skin unveiled.

___________________________________________________________________

 

.....  It would be great if you would write a commentary regarding the meaning of this poem

 

The meaning is twofold: one is false but practical; the other is true but useless;). Both are readily available on the internet.

 

Red Dragon is a name for the tongue. The tongue is the tool by which the

saliva is produced and therefore functions as the source of good health.  

tongue around the inside of the mouth.

 

Rouse and rinse means to gather the saliva in the mouth. The qi is stimu-

lated during the in and out motions of rinsing. Thirty-six is the number of

revolutions. This procedure in effect causes the circulation and stimulation

of qi so that it can penetrate deeply.

 

This is false but hey, everyone can do it and there is no harm in it.

 

 If then the true seed is born, and the right method applied in order to melt and mix it, and in that way to create the Elixir of Life, then one goes through the pass. The embryo, which must be developed by the work of warming, nourishing, bathing, and washing, is formed. 

 

This is true, but since no one can do it its useless, and worse, those who seek live;) teachers to learn how to do this will be had by the said teachers.

 

But its all in good fun.  Cheers!

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沐浴                                       Bathing

Translation by Taoist Texts

 

1. 卯酉门中作用时,       This is the time of work by the Mao-You gate,

2. 赤龙时蘸玉清池。
       The scarlet dragon immerses in the Pool of Clean Jade

3. 云薄薄,                     Thinly-thin are the clouds

4. 雨微微,                     Tiny-tiny it rained,

5. 看取妖容露雪肌。       Take a look at the charming appearance of the snow- 

   white skin unveiled.

 

**********************************************************

As I mentioned in my last post, your poem translation as art itself is very successful.  Your translation is lovely, charming, delightful and excellent!

 

But from the view of internal cultivation and from the meaning of the original poem,

First line: Taoist Texts lost the meaning of Mao-You.  Here, the meaning of Mao-You is practice time: morning 5-7am and evening 5-7pm.  This is the first advice from Master Lü Dongbin to internal cultivators. 

 

Second line: Master Lü Dongbin gave instructions to internal cultivators: The red dragon immerses in the Pool of Clean Jade-Taoist Texts’ commentary on this line is the tongue around the inside of the mouth. I am so delighted to hear that you know the meaning of the Red Dragon is the tongue.  (Be careful, please do not practice the ““Slaying the Red Dragon” here.) The instruction of this line is to put the tongue on the floor of the mouth.  The pool of Clean Jade is located in the mouth below the tongue.  Usually individuals practice Qigong to put the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth.  But Master Lü Dongbin guides internal cultivators to put the tip of the tongue on the floor of the month to let the tongue immerse in the pool of Clean Jade at the specific time of morning 5-7am and evening 5-7pm.  Taoist Texts’ commentary does not reflect the meaning from the original poem, but just links to another Taoist practice method on the internet, which looks close but is not the same. 

 

Third line: Thinly-thin are the clouds—this is the instruction on authentic Qi activation and circulation: A sense of Qi like thin cloud around your hands that also flows around the body. 

 

Fourth line: Tiny-tiny it rained—this is the instruction on deeper relaxation with authentic Qi circulation.  With enhanced Qi sensations and circulation, both conscious mind and the physical body become more relaxed, this state of relaxation and authentic Qi circulation naturally induce saliva flow, so tiny-tiny it rained.  This is true to experienced internal cultivators and Qigong practitioners but is false to Taoist Texts.  It seems that Taoist Texts has never experienced the authentic Qi flow within and the state of Xuan or has never entered into the gate of Xuan (玄) yet.  

 

Fifth line: Take a look at the charming appearance of the snow-white skin unveiled. Taoist Texts totally lost the key point of this poem entitled "Bathing".  The meaning of this line is the instruction from deep relaxed state to deep meditation.  During the state of deep meditation, to observe the state of mind and to see what kind of images and thoughts arise on the mind screen: first see ugly appearance (e.g. some things done in the past that were not health-oriented or not ethical or were shameful, etc., and then clean skin like white snow--become clean and clear with successful bathing.) This is a natural process of internal bathing and internal cleaning. 

 

Taoist Texts linked to another Taoist practice method regarding true seed is born…, again on the internet, but it is not a reflection of the content of this poem. 

 

I greatly appreciate Taoist Texts’ efforts for translating this poem.  Taoist Texts is smart, clever, with a very bright intellectual mind.  I truly admire it.  But, I am sorry to say that the commentary as shown above (last post) suggests that Taoist Texts did not understand the meaning of the poem, “Bathing,” at all. 

 

Ancient Taoist Classics such as Lao Zi’s Dao De Jing, Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, Master Lü Dongbin’s Secrets of Golden Flower, etc. are not intellectual mind games, but the expressions of internal experiences and realizations from internal cultivation. 

 

Don’t depend on the information on the internet only.  Do you have your own understanding from your heart? You may have better understanding of the poem if you use your intelligence and wisdom within. 

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.  But, I am sorry to say that the commentary as shown above (last post) suggests that Taoist Texts did not understand the meaning of the poem, “Bathing,” at all. 

 

Well played Xuanming. Well played.

 

;)

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1. 卯酉中作用时,       This is the time of work by the Mao-You gate,

 

First line: Taoist Texts lost the meaning of Mao-You.  Here, the meaning of Mao-You is practice time: morning 5-7am and evening 5-7pm.  This is the first advice from Master Lü Dongbin to internal cultivators. 

 

Yes. Thats why he says 'the gate'. Thats what ppl say when they tell time. They say morning 5-7am and evening 5-7pm and dont forget the gate.

 

;)

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Thank you for pointing out the "gate".  You are right that the Mao-You gate is a way of the expression of time: morning 5-7am and evening 5-7pm.  I am not sure that your readers would understand this type of expression on time without traditional Chinese culture background.  

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 traditional Chinese culture background.  

There was the Chinese master Lu

Who held the traditional view.

When telling time,

He would always rhyme.

And for some reason add ‘Gate you!’.

 

 

;)

Edited by Taoist Texts

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Even although I was having arguments with Taoist Texts (the sophist) in the past, I have to admit that it is sad seeing him so defeated and writing this kind of bukowskian poem, fortunately English is not my mother tongue, so  the disgusting effect was weak.

Going to the Sun Bu Er poem and the female practice I have a question for Xuanming: the "slaying dragon model" is somewhat extended as a female practice (at least in books), how could be al alternative nüdan model from a energetic-physiological point of view?

And second, was your very interesting interpretation of Lü Dongpin's poem a personal one or it is based in some daoist school?

Thanks

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Regarding the “slaying dragon model” and alternative nüdan (female elixir) model from an energetic-physiological point of view, I don’t think that I am the right person to answer your question, because I am not a female practitioner. 

 

As a Daoist practitioner, I think that internal cultivators and Qigong practitioners should understand that “Slaying the Red Dragon” – uses a technique of breast massage and internal visualization to eliminate the physical menses, which is not equal to formation of nüdan successfully.  For example, in the view of physiology, elimination of the physical menses is defined as Menopause, due to the natural depletion of ovarian oocytes from aging.  

 

In the view of neidan (internal elixir) cultivation, the alternative nüdan model should follow the process of transforming the Jing to Qi, and then transforming the Qi to nourish the Shen (spirit).  In other words, the nüdan model should transform the internal energy flow from postnatal state to prenatal state.  You may find Sun Bu-Er’s poem thirteen, Companion, Ms. Gonet’s translation and commentary (Riding the Phoenix to Penglai, page 81-84) are helpful for understanding the process of nüdan cultivation. 

 

Regarding my interpretation of Lü Dongpin's poem, it is a personal one based on my internal experience and realization and personal conversations with other experienced Daoist internal cultivators.  It is not based on the information from other Daoist schools or the knowledge on the internet. 

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 I have been studying  Jill Gonet's book for about one year. It is an extraordinary work I relate to from the perspective of my person experiences in practicing  Internal Alchemy.   I cannot  speak to  scholarly elucidations on the subject of  Taming the Dragon in Ms. Gonet's  translated Poem. I have been  practicing a system  Internal Alchemy , for  about 2.5 years. For me taming the dragon was not taming in the  literal sense at all. It felt like the   water dragon of the deep ocean in  my human body with all of its reproductive earthly human mandate-produce/procreate or die  trying was gently introduced to  another  type of dragon from   the heavenly oceans. Over the course of many classes and hours of personal practice this Yin earthly  ocean dragon mated with the Yang heavenly ocean  dragon. The female water dragon fulfilled her mandate to procreate and the Male  winged heavenly  Dragon fulfilled his  mandate to assist the earth immortal  Yin  dragon to have a child. Together they  raise this child dragon hybrid that lives in heaven and on earth simultaneously.  . Since both Dragon are immortal and what is born is immortal. To address Hobo comment on slaying  the dragon it does not feel like slaying is the right term. It feels like Ultimate Yin and Ultimate Yang become good parents to this immortal living child inside my body , feeding, caring and fostering  with  discipline and   limitless wisdom their creation.  

I see why Ms. Gonet used taming to describe this union. For the untrained mind taming is a clue to unlock, in my opinion  for what it is worth, the western minds  indoctrination. I would describe it more as  the great loving fulfilment of the original purpose ( In western alchemy this is  called the  Hieros Gamos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieros_gamos )   of the reproductive system which is not  " tamed" ( in the western ideation of dominate) exactly,  a better word from my  experience would be  quieted by  fulfilling the  dragon like (human) reptilian minds impulsive/compulsive mandate with  authentic spiritual purpose giving birth to  the authentic spirit.   My comments here speak to  only  a nanoparticle of the totality of  my experience of the Yin and Yang  "matings" and resulting transformations from practicing Internal Alchemy . This is  a gross simplification of a rigorous process of nearly 2000 hours of personal  practice and  around 300 hours of classroom training with Dr. Sun.  The description above is based solely on my personal experience I  honestly do not know the words from the Chinese Cultural or Mythological  perspective. I am left with a humble attempt to  make up the vocabulary based on my  experiences  during practicing . I claim no accuracy as to  the use of the above metaphoric terminology from any historical or modern  texts. 

Edited by quantumdragon
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Even although I was having arguments with Taoist Texts (the sophist) in the past, I have to admit that it is sad seeing him so defeated and writing this kind of bukowskian poem, fortunately English is not my mother tongue, so  the disgusting effect was weak.

Hi;) this here link below will expand your english horizons a bit, my  EFL friend

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerick_%28poetry%29

A limerick is a form of poetry,[1] especially one in five-line anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA), which is sometimes obscene with humorous intent. The first, second and fifth lines are usually longer than the third and fourth. The oldest attested text in this form is a Latin prayer[2] by Thomas Aquinas of the 13th century.

The form appeared in England in the early years of the 18th century.[4] It was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century,[5] although he did not use the term.

The following limerick is of unknown origin:

 

The limerick packs laughs anatomical

Into space that is quite economical.

  But the good ones I've seen

  So seldom are clean

And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

 

 

 

I have to admit that it is sad seeing him so defeated

 

Yeah me too. Let this appropriately titled song cheer us up

 

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Hi Hobo. I have been  following this post. Your intellectual capacity is beyond compare. The depth of your intellectual " data" bank of  words, terms and concepts leave me in awe. I will be paying attention to your commentary to glean vocabulary to describe my personal practices.  Your  Chinese cultural  knowledge is a great support to me. I have no such resource to fall back on. I really appreciated you explaining  the common usage of  "gate(s)" in Chinese culture. I would have never in a million years come across this reference.

I am fascinated by your limerick about Master Lu. Is it a simple fun jingle or does it have an esoteric meaning my western mind cannot unlock? Thank you in advance if you decide I am worthy of your assistance in understanding.  

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I am fascinated by your limerick about Master Lu. Is it a simple fun jingle or does it have an esoteric meaning my western mind cannot unlock?

Oh I am sure you can unlock anything you want;). It was for fun and giggles and also a hint that the verse was not really about time. Pls take a look at all of those 18 verses for context.

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Oh my goodness Hobo the translation of the Fisherman resonated in my ears like beautiful music. For the sake of the purity of my practices I intend I do not  come across written material until I have experienced   what has been written about. I further intend  a particular  state has been stabilized to the point where  what is read assist the tool of my  intellectual mind to find words, symbols and means of communicating conceptualized experiences  with other humans.  I say this because  I feel  cannot  create an  experience for another with words but I have  unintentionally create conceptual road block for other students by my use of words.

As for me being able to unlock anything I want , I would answer you are more confident in my abilities than I am ! : ) I am a simple woman with a singular purpose living the Way to the best of my current ability. This is why I " practice or bath daily". 

My experience of Bathing is allowing  the Original Spirit and the associated Universal energies to cleanse/ transform the chemical make up of my body memories from this life, from my ancestors, my cultural indoctrination etc. and other lives, so that in awareness I realize how to be in  harmony with eternal freedom. Daily ( each minute really) I am aware of the multitude of disharmonious states in my body/mind(s). 

I think I understand that the gate you reference is  not  a clock nor does it refer to time. I have to fall back on my experience. When I was a beginning practitioner  of Yi Ren Qigong I did need to count, I needed to practice at certain times of the day to use  self acupuncture TCM theory to create a change or desired state. But then my teacher told me to  practice the microcosmic  orbit with certain mudras for 180 revolutions. This created a dilemma for me because I kept loosing track of the count. Instead I  counted the approximate amount of time it would take to complete the task. At that time it  took about 4 hours to do 180 circulations ( now 1 circulation may take 4 hours). What happened for me was not what I expected. I  had let go of my linear mind by committing to just doing the practice without worrying about the count or the form or anything else. on that day I  entered the state of Xuan for the first time. For two months I did a standing practice of one exercise for 4- 7 hours per day.   My realization was, the counting is to occupy the  linear( so it will not interfere) mind while the real  Alchemy starts gaining traction.  What freedom to be in eternity and here on earth!. Now as a more seasoned practitioner I  enter and exit local and non local time at will by surrendering to a greater awareness I quiet the noise of the human dust washing my body with the intelligence of the  refined energy of the Original Spirit. My personality is still here and  problematic at times but what a great journey this is. 

The real questions started coming after that exercise, which mind is in control and running the  "show" in my life? Is it the mind of  the spleen? Am I fighting or arguing? Is it the mind of my Liver? Am I angry or aggressive? And so on. If I am seeing the negative emotions I know I need to head to practice and bath some more.

My purpose in talking to you Hobo is to connect with  your ( in my opinion) Yang brilliance. And I  share my Yin practice. Then we both benefit from one another's  gifts. In that not what  community is? Have a great night.  

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 For two months I did a standing practice of one exercise for 4- 7 hours per day.   My realization was, the counting is to occupy the  linear( so it will not interfere) mind while the real  Alchemy starts gaining traction.  What freedom to be in eternity and here on earth!. Now as a more seasoned practitioner

 

thats an amazing effort. was there a specific event in  your life that prompted you to practice with such dedication?

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The  "event" that  prompted my devotion was the first practice of 4 hours. I had never experienced anything like  the pure freedom and ecstasy  of what is  commonly written about as the  Xuan state. There are no words to describe the actual feeling of the practice. I have read the poetry about it which alludes to something but  what is alluded to can only be experienced. Experiences cannot really be described because every human being is unique. How can energy interactions be the identical in different individuals. This is why I love your translation?. They are beautiful , poignant  and broadly worded so that the untrained mind could have a glimpse at something possible. Is your interest in the  works you translate purely academic do you practice any form of internal or external martial arts? You must have some kind of connection to this or your work would not be so lovely. 

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 Is your interest in the  works you translate purely academic do you practice any form of internal or external martial arts?

 

i do this;)

 

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