juan

Outsider's doubts

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Hi everybody

 

I’ve been snooping in this site since June 2015 but this is only my third post, so maybe I am the kind of newcomer you are trying to help.

 

I joined the daobums in order to be allowed to read as much as possible. I was (and still I am) looking for answers concerning something that could be called “energy flows” which I experienced quite spontaneously some years ago, without any previous indoctrination. I started looking for answers in Hindu/yogic sites, as they had more visibility. Later on I found Taoist sites, which in my opinion give a more detailed description of what I feel.

 

I wonder if building the perfect spiritual forum is feasible at all. I’ve seen sites with very strong moderation, keeping heretics at bay, so everybody is happy as far as anybody questions any dogma. Of course I prefer being able to see very different opinions, as here at the daobums.

The problem is the myriad of traditions, theories, schools and lineages, which seem to be speaking about the same stuff, but competing against the others, so which one to choose? It seems to me that making a choice involves embracing some kind of “religion” in the sense that I have to surrender to a master/priest who, in exchange for money or obedience, and with some luck, will tell me in a couple of decades what to do. This is an act of blind faith that makes me feel very uncomfortable.

 

The most basic question I have is, once you feel these energies flowing inside/outside you, what to do with them? Some traditions/schools recommend specific circuits (i.e. MCO); some speak only about the ascension of these energies from perineum to crown; other recommend “hoarding” this energy and are quite wary of leaking one single drop, still some other see them as a mere distraction from the real objective. All of them usually warn against the heavy consequences of guiding these energies the wrong way. Last, but not at all least, firing and intensifying these energies require a very special “mental attitude” or whatever we may call it, which seems to be the goal of meditation exercises.

 

On the other hand, seeing that so many people are claiming that their totally disparate systems are the right ones is a good thing. It makes me think that, after all, the right choice may be just letting the energy guide me so I will eventually find my way. In this quest, exchanging opinions, experiences and insights with (undogmatic) fellows could be a great help. But I still haven’t found a good thread about energy management issues, especially if you are using sex as a tool. Maybe this adds an extra blockage, as speaking about sex and gender identity could stir very strong cultural taboos.

 

I have thousands of doubts/questions, but before starting I would like to know your opinion on this: is this exchange of experiences possible? Is it worth? Is there a common area where anybody could speak about common experiences without being biased by specific traditions/schools/lineages?

 

I greatly appreciate your patience for reading so far and your comments. Thank you!

Juan

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Hi Juan,

 

Yes, your post is exactly what management intended.

 

The question was:  Where to start.  The answer is:  Right here.

 

You originate the questions and state your understandings.

 

Hopefully others will respond with constructive information.

 

But keep in mind, we each are special and unique.  A system that works well for one person may do absolutely nothing constructive for another.  In fact, it may cause more complications.

 

I rarely speak about practices mainly for this reason.  Of course, I have no practice so what could I possibly say?

 

And its really not that one practice is "wrong" and another is "right".  Its about what works for a particular individual.

 

So my advice is to test and try before you buy.

 

Our mind and body will tell us what is good or bad for us.  We need to listen intently to both.  We need understand what caused a particular reaction.  But we need also to understand the difference between a negative reaction and a reaction that is simply counter to our older, established understandings.  Sometimes we find that we need to discard some of our older understandings before we can move forward.

 

May you get some good responses to your post.

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Hi Juan,

 

It's a good thing if you can feel energy flow in your body.

 

As you have already noted different systems have different descriptions of the subtle body in which this energy operates.  This isn't a problem and just reflects varied perspectives and ways of seeing how the subtle body is structured.

 

Every system though, I think, will tell you the first things to do about is lay the foundations.  This is based round cultivating and conserving energy to improve your state of being and health.

 

The first thing is to learn to settle your mind - usually accomplished by mediation techniques focussing on breath.

 

The second thing is to address your own conduct and things in your life which make you waste energy or are distractions (or even harmful habits).

 

The third is learn how to remove obstructions to the free circulation of the energy flows.  This is not done by force or visualisations but by gently learning how to deal with the energy through a natural approach.  You don't need to try to force it into any kind of learned behaviour because it will find its own way if you let it.

 

There are many, many, tricks and techniques - some helpful and some not - which you can experiment with if you wish - and its usually best to learn these from someone who is properly qualified themselves - but the main thing is someone who your own feelings tell you is ok to learn from.

 

Hope this is some help to you :)

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thanks for the contribution.

 

you are correct in a sense, perception of energy is the teacher. the rest is like guidelines or rulebooks of how energy behaves and the best teaching will resonate at an experiential level. if we are aware enough, this is the feedback mechanism and ultimately the vehicle in which we experience the world - through perception of energy and not ideas.

 

i won't get into teaching per se only to add that i believe dhamma is as close to the rules to the matrix as you will get. the more you line up with that the more things open up and energy becomes available to you. often the energy you can feel is the incoherence in the system, so the idea of a practice should be to balance energy through the body and keep you grounded. this should allow you to become increasingly aware of blockages and hopefully react less to things in the daily life.

 

a practice or teaching is only worthwhile if it makes you happier and a nicer person. energy is just an expression of our capacity or incapacity to be OK and at peace with things going on around us. not just outwardly but at a deeper felt level, this is where self-honesty or a teacher can come in handy. if you can find a teacher that can show you experientially (via transmission) there is nothing ideological or dogmatic about that. just ignore the rest and trust in the experience, sounds like you are on the right track!

 

peace :)

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The problem is the myriad of traditions, theories, schools and lineages, which seem to be speaking about the same stuff, but competing against the others, so which one to choose?

 

Perhaps it is like choosing where to live.

 

There are many solar systems and planets, few of which support life. Perhaps we can compare this to the many different types of lifestyles, all supported by different theories. Those which support "life" are those which are right for the type of growth we need.

 

Then say we choose a planet that supports the type of life we need. There are many places to build a home. The mountains? By a river? The plains? What type of climate? Perhaps this could be compared to the many different types of people that might serve as guides to a particular lifestyle choice.

 

The most basic question I have is, once you feel these energies flowing inside/outside you, what to do with them?

 

There are so many answers. Which one is right? I feel that ultimately we each need to listen on our own and follow where our heart leads. When we set and hold the intention for something, it changes us over time. So if we set the intention to become whole, or to return to the dao, and make our choices based on this intention with sincerity, over time we will be provided the guidance we need.

 

Zhuangzi says that we can only know ourselves from the inside out. We can't know anything else from the inside out, but only from the outside-in. It is common for students to seek externally for answers. Unfortunately this leads them outside of themselves, where the answers are. 

 

Virtuous conduct is valued because it creates harmony internally and externally, and leads to the resolution of many issues all on its own.

 

On the other hand, seeing that so many people are claiming that their totally disparate systems are the right ones is a good thing. It makes me think that, after all, the right choice may be just letting the energy guide me so I will eventually find my way. In this quest, exchanging opinions, experiences and insights with (undogmatic) fellows could be a great help.

 

Well said.

 

I have thousands of doubts/questions, but before starting I would like to know your opinion on this: is this exchange of experiences possible? Is it worth? Is there a common area where anybody could speak about common experiences without being biased by specific traditions/schools/lineages?

 

Principles are like tools that may be used in different ways. Different schools leverage these tools in different orders, but we may talk about these tools in general ways to understand how they may be used. Ultimately it is a balance of using the proper tools at the proper times that gets one somewhere.

 

It is common for schools to form which use tools in a very specific order, and followers of these schools often come to think this order is absolute. When people attach to one way, it can come to block the progress of a conversation.

 

Thus when we speak of experiences, it is more subjective and can be easy to get lots of information that may be right for one path and not another. Zhuangzi says that everything may be seen as right or wrong from some perspective. So it is up to us to follow what is right for us. It is said that with sincerity the way is open. Following this we come upon what we need.

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Thank you Marblehead, Apech, Wilfred, Daeluin for your warm response. I really feel moved reading your answers; somehow I could feel your compassion in my heart.

 

I still have much to digest, but right now I can feel more confident about the "benevolence" of this energy and my ability to manage it, based on the signals that this same energy is sending me. I quote some of your ideas with my comments:

 

Our mind and body will tell us what is good or bad for us.  We need to listen intently to both.  We need understand what caused a particular reaction.  But we need also to understand the difference between a negative reaction and a reaction that is simply counter to our older, established understandings.

 

The most shocking reaction so far was when I experienced for the first time this energy imploding inside me. Feminine orgasms should be quite similar, and this perception shaked my ideas about gender identity.

 

... different systems have different descriptions of the subtle body in which this energy operates.  This isn't a problem and just reflects varied perspectives and ways of seeing how the subtle body is structured.

 

But they are so different... seven chakras, shusumna, ida & pingala on one hand; the three dantiens and the network of channels on the other hand. Yes, they speak about the same "subtle body", but lead to some confusion when you feel the energy moving inside.

What is exactly a chakra or a dantien, to begin with? I don't think they are the same animals; there are points where you can feel the flow of energy piercing through (chakras?) and points behaving as black holes, sucking energy or super novas, expelling it (dantiens?). The feeling is always orgasmic, but with different taste.

I think that when they say "chakra" or "dantien" they really mean a constellation made of a dantien-like thing in the middle with two main chakra-things at the front and back (and still a secondary structure at left and right), and this pattern repeats in several segments. BTW: is there really only one "chakra" between swadhistana and anahata?

But I have to agree that all this may be irrelevant. Just the curiosity of an engineer.

 

The third is learn how to remove obstructions to the free circulation of the energy flows.  This is not done by force or visualisations but by gently learning how to deal with the energy through a natural approach.  You don't need to try to force it into any kind of learned behaviour because it will find its own way if you let it.

 

Absolutely. Does this mean that once you get to this stage, then "forcing" procedures as pranayama or qigong stances are no longer necessary? IME the only thing you need is a fully relaxed body and an almost fully stopped mind.

 

... perception of energy is the teacher. the rest is like guidelines or rulebooks of how energy behaves and the best teaching will resonate at an experiential level. if we are aware enough, this is the feedback mechanism and ultimately the vehicle in which we experience the world - through perception of energy and not ideas.

 

The segmented structure of these energy channels and nodes strongly reminds me the "distributed brain" of invertebrates. May this be our real "basic brain", much older than our more famous "reptilian brain"?. If these primitive beings experienced the world without ear and sight, without a reptilian brain to improve the fly/fight response and without a neocortex with an embedded code of conduct, this could be the most basic experience. But it is hidden under the neocortex (and perhaps under the reptilian brain, too).

 

Principles are like tools that may be used in different ways. Different schools leverage these tools in different orders, but we may talk about these tools in general ways to understand how they may be used. Ultimately it is a balance of using the proper tools at the proper times that gets one somewhere.

 

Letting the energy tell you which are the proper tools and the proper times...

 

It is common for schools to form which use tools in a very specific order, and followers of these schools often come to think this order is absolute. When people attach to one way, it can come to block the progress of a conversation

....So it is up to us to follow what is right for us. It is said that with sincerity the way is open. Following this we come upon what we need.

 

Thanks a lot. This is very reassuring.

Cheers

juan

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But they are so different... seven chakras, shusumna, ida & pingala on one hand; the three dantiens and the network of channels on the other hand. Yes, they speak about the same "subtle body", but lead to some confusion when you feel the energy moving inside.

What is exactly a chakra or a dantien, to begin with? I don't think they are the same animals; there are points where you can feel the flow of energy piercing through (chakras?) and points behaving as black holes, sucking energy or super novas, expelling it (dantiens?). The feeling is always orgasmic, but with different taste.

I think that when they say "chakra" or "dantien" they really mean a constellation made of a dantien-like thing in the middle with two main chakra-things at the front and back (and still a secondary structure at left and right), and this pattern repeats in several segments. BTW: is there really only one "chakra" between swadhistana and anahata?

But I have to agree that all this may be irrelevant. Just the curiosity of an engineer.

 

A Dan-tien is specifically a field (tien) for producing the elixir/pill (dan).  The three that we work with are located in the abdomen, thorax and head - which are the three main divisions of the human (and most other organisms) body.  So some would say that unless you are at the stage of producing the 'pill' there is no actual Dantien.  Similarly there is actually no MCO unless this process has started.  What most people are doing in relation to these parts of their being - especially the three areas of the Dantiens and the Eight extraordinary meridians is just laying the foundations - that is conserving, enhancing energy and removing obstacles.

 

The chakras are vortexes.  In yoga systems they exist permanently as part of the system of nodes and channels.  They are more like something to do with different levels of experiencing reality.  But my understanding is limited so I will say no more on this.  Hopefully an expert will pop up to help.

 

 

Absolutely. Does this mean that once you get to this stage, then "forcing" procedures as pranayama or qigong stances are no longer necessary? IME the only thing you need is a fully relaxed body and an almost fully stopped mind.

 

Relaxed body - yes, stopped mind - no.  Actually by reducing chatter and distraction your mind is more present and aware - so it is not stopped.  

 

There are of course forced methods - personally I don't use them much - but others use them a lot.  Where I do use them is when I already have the awareness but there is a lot of inertia.  Sometimes practice becomes stale.  There is also the case that there are points on the body where it is quite difficult to get the energy to penetrate - this may feel like forcing but is really just arising from necessity.

 

This is just my view of course.

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I've heard the chakras described from a more light based perspective of energy nodes.

 

In daoism there is the concept of xing and ming, or nature and existence. The ming / existence energy is related more to the feeling based energies that are denser and related to providing nourishment for the physical body. The xing / nature based energy is more related to the spirit nature that is more freedom and light oriented. There is a concept of cultivating the xing and ming together, to merge them back into oneness.

 

This is related to the theory of jing, qi, and shen. These three are originally one, and become separate. When they are returned to one it is a type of emptiness or void. It is not really empty, as it holds the potential for all manifestations, yet it feels empty, as it has no shape. It is perhaps like a type of clarity that holds no space.

 

So there are many different energy models. We can easily understand this by recalling that our eyes and ears are merely tools designed to perceive patterns in very specific vibrational frequencies. Other species have perceptions very different from our own. A goal in returning to the dao might be to cultivate awareness of and connection to all without reliance on the sensory organs. "A daoist looks at nothing but sees all."

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No need to believe anything, just keep researching and discovering new things, do your best to find out as much as possible about the things you are interested before the universe tosses you away into the great infinity of non existence.

If you want to know about Daoism and how Daoist energy practices work, this is not the ideal forum for it.  While there are a number of people who deeply understand Daoism here, there are also many who are quite far off the correct track.

If you want to learn Daoism, be it religious, or secular, you must find a teacher.  If you don't want to be involved in religion, and don't want to take a leap of faith, then just find a teacher who can show you how to do Daoist stuff without religious belief implicated.   There are some teachers who do this and it is possible to find them, although there are lots of quality problems (like the MCO stuff you mentioned in your first post).

Daoism certainly has the best handle on the energy anatomy of the body of any of the currently popular arts.

Energy stuff may not be where you need to go though, and you might also consider other avenues of self cultivation.   There are so many rewarding ways to become a more well developed person, inside or outside of the spiritual traditions.

 

Most people get badly bogged down in superstition, even people in the secular community.  This type of superstition assumes that there are greater answers that are driving ones spiritual experience, and that some particular experiences that one may have had somehow infer there being greater truths that guide them toward some sort of ephemeral, and unclear state of mystical enlightenment.   I want to assuage you of this ideology, because it gets in the way of rational spiritual practice.  If you cultivate yourself and become enlightened, you are pretty badass, because most of us just get a little way down the track before the inevitable. 

Another problem is bringing along lots of ideas from the new age community, which are almost always incorrect and based on weird and incomplete research.   This is very dangerous, since almost all of the practices of new age meditation are without a traditional root, and tend to be highly harmful.   this includes a great deal of what is called "Daoism," in western countries.  I strongly urge you to directly avoid this stuff and be careful when researching.

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There is no reason to adhere to any specific system or tradition. What you practice will be your personal practice. Even traditions have changed through time because every person in a lineage will do their own personal variant, though fo course lineages does have themes and are dependent on teachers often teaching very similar methods.

 

There are many system in which there are ideas of what you should do with energies, how you should move them around and so on.

 

But I suggest that you let you energies have their natural flow, to listen in on what is happening rather than trying to force energy one way or another. In general there are many ways one can get hurt by trying to move energy when one does not fully understand the implications of altering a presumably  natural flow. I have personaly had some bad experience is doing things along those lines when i was younger and i have heard countless of stories of the similar experiences.

 

As a person that can easily feel this energy flow you have the advantage of trying to understand it by seeing what happens with it in different situations in your life. What and how is this energy flow affected by your experiences?

 

But if you want to do seomthing more actively I suggest breathing techniques and meditation, and looking at how your energy system is affected.

 

If you are interested in learning how these energies work in a more formal way but without actually necessarily actually doings something actively with your energies, then you can study TCM which although not perfect does indeed touch on the basics of how they work.

 

Ones you have a better understanding you will be able to judge if a method, system or lineage is worthwhile or not.

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I am impressed to see so many people trying to help. Thank you all again for your ideas and clarifications. Each one adds a new perspective and opens the way to more specific issues/questions. I have much to ruminate, but I will try to summarize here my first interpretations. I started this thread with some basic questions:

 

Is this exchange of experiences possible? Is it worth?

 

But keep in mind, we each are special and unique.  A system that works well for one person may do absolutely nothing constructive for another.  In fact, it may cause more complications. ...I rarely speak about practices mainly for this reason

...to deal with the energy through a natural approach.  You don't need to try to force it into any kind of learned behaviour because it will find its own way if you let it.

Thus when we speak of experiences, it is more subjective and can be easy to get lots of information that may be right for one path and not another.

 

So I understand that speaking about personal experiences is tricky, if the receiver of this information tries to blindly emulate what the other says. This may lead to frustration if these wonderful experiences don’t come (BTW, I would bet that chasing experiences is not an intelligent objective), or danger, if they come and you find too late that they are too much for you. But it seems to me that the biggest risk is the one mentioned by Apech: if you try to lead this energy to these “learned” paths (but not learned through your own experience) you will miss the signals that the same energy is sending you. It reminds me the joke of the drunken man, looking for his lost keys under the street lamp and saying “I’ve lost my keys over there, but the light is here”.

 

But on the other hand, all we say here must come from some previous experience, so denying its worthiness would kill any attempt of discussion. As usual, some balance must be found.

 

Is there a common area where anybody could speak about common experiences without being biased by specific traditions/schools/lineages?

 

This could be worded differently: Do I need sticking to the specific procedures of a specific tradition in order to get results (or not to be killed in the process)? Most of the answers seem to say no, as long as you are able to read the “intention” of these energies and get all expectations and learned ideas (and fear!) out of the way.

 

So this is what I will try to do. Your kind responses touched a lot of issues which deserve a lot of reflection. I would like answering each one of them later, with still more questions, if I may be allowed to abuse your patience. What I can say now is that the reassurance I got from your first answers seemed to remove some amount of fear I still had, and this intensified the energy flow. Thanks, thanks a lot.

juan

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If we follow the principles meaning what works the appearance to the visual world will look like endless styles,traditions, schools, and systems based on geological locations, cultures and so on.

 

Be none of them.

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....

 

Is this exchange of experiences possible? Is it worth?

 

 

 

Is there a common area where anybody could speak about common experiences without being biased by specific traditions/schools/lineages?

 

....

 

Great questions.  I have thoughts but not answers as such.  So I'll just set them out in no particular order.  

 

The physical body appears to us as fixed and certain.  In fact I believe that it is the quest for certainty which has led humankind to focus more and more into the physical objective world.  Whereas at some times in the past we were much more in tune with the noumenal and subtle than we are today.  This gives many quite a lot of distrust when someone starts to talk about subtle energy flows and so on.  Disbelief, mockery, dismissal and so on.

 

But with some practice it's not that hard to start to feel energy - but of course you would have to want to do it to even try.  There are some of course to whom this happens spontaneously - then they are left with a lot of confusion because this world does not usually supply the terminology or understanding to deal with such a thing.

 

However among those who can feel energy - then some exchange is possible - and its value is perhaps to strengthen confidence and also confirm that you are not going crazy (LOL!).

 

There are a couple of problems though.  Because the subtle realm is subtle and not as fixed as the physical world - it responds readily to intention, thought and the energy makeup of the person practicing.  We are not all the same in this respect - though it is possible to categorise people under different 'types' - ultimately we are unique in both the exact energy configuration we have and also our personal history which informs how we look at the world.  For instance some people are intensely visual and will easily see images, forms, figures, lights and so on while others not so much, and some people not at all.  So two people might describe the same energy process quite differently and have to spend some time discussing what they experience to satisfy themselves that they are talking about the same thing.

 

This brings us on to systems and schools and so on.  The advantage of these is that they do have an agreed set of terms - so people within the same system can probably discourse more easily about energy effects then they can with outsiders.  Also because subtle energy responds to intent and thoughts - then you can't really disengage what is happening to you from what you are thinking about or what you 'believe' is going on.  So there might be a lot of preconceptions which you would have to address before trying to have an exchange free of traditions.

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Yes, great questions and issues. 

 

And I think Apech rightly comments and touches on important considerations which I'll try to add to.

 

We exist in a shared space and presence and yet we cling to individual perceptions, desires and seek some sort of individual experience; and yet we want to share that experience too on some level.   What connects us is not so much the face value of our humanity but universal energy. I could go further than that but that is enough for now.

 

We lose sight and sense of the energy integration and then within a particular lifetime, we find ourselves responding to the call of it.  So not only are we 'different types' but we at 'different levels' for the very reason we aer along a 'different unfolding point' of past lives.

 

It is very true that we could put 10 people in the same room, as we did in Medical Qigong clinicals, and have each one scan a person and we can get 10 different (although some will strongly overlap) explanations of sensing, feeling, knowing, intuiting what they felt [in the exchange].  And that brings me back to the issue of the spared space.  There is transmission of energy going on everything all the time.  So while one can do 'practices' to feel energy, I tend towards keeping the exchange of energy as the base concept. Thus, you can double your experience doing energy work in pairs or groups and then progress to large trees (for example).

 

My personal path and recommendation is that one should find what they seem drawn towards. Likely there is something which interests you, whether more philosophical or personality-wise and there is likely a tradition you might like better based on that.

 

I would agree that feeling energy is actually really easy.  I once taught the opening Taiji class to acupuncture students who complained that they had just finished Qigong for six weeks but it was all about 'animal movements' and they still didn't feel energy that much.  I told them we'd go outside to a very large tree and do some pairs work and then 'meet the tree'.  Long story short: We scanned the tree by walking around it and every one of them said the same exactly location as the most dense or subtle.   The pairs work helped them exchange energy (bi-directional transmitting and receiving) with focus; moving to the tree was really just another 'pair' to work with.

 

Getting back to our unfolding point:  I've meet lots of folks who are gifted and have tremendous levels of either energy, magic, psychic, healing, and/or light energy abilities.  Some have it at birth.  Do we say that is it not fair that they have never "done the hard work" to get there?  If you accept the unfolding point of past lives, it just means they did the hard work in the past lives.    Also, if you flip to a high level now, is that unfair to someone still going after 40 years who can't yet get to their tradition's signs?  

 

On a certain level, maybe it is natural to compare, and I include the fact that we have a healthy use of competition too.  But the fact is, where any one of us is, is simply a part of our destiny.   So, as we are all different individuals and different levels, and different past lives unfolding, we can share in the shared space and presence of each other.   

 

There may be some struggle to have an exchange free of traditions as that becomes an attachment of singular belief instead of simply the path we are on.   My hope is that we could talk free of traditions but the challenge in this has been mentioned by others too.

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Thanks, Apech, Dawei for these very clarifying posts. I also hope that we can get a fruitful conversation posting our experiences, ideas and insights without sticking to any learned dogma.

 

Now that I am more confident on the existence of this common ground, I am preparing my next round of questions, but I need to be as sure as possible that I state them in the right way, and this is taking me more time than expected.

 

Back soon,

juan

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Thanks, Apech, Dawei for these very clarifying posts. I also hope that we can get a fruitful conversation posting our experiences, ideas and insights without sticking to any learned dogma.

 

Now that I am more confident on the existence of this common ground, I am preparing my next round of questions, but I need to be as sure as possible that I state them in the right way, and this is taking me more time than expected.

 

Back soon,

juan

 

Thanks for your thoughtful contributions!  Very interesting :)

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"IME the only thing you need is a fully relaxed body and an almost fully stopped mind."

 

Yeah, basically. How could the energy not flow naturally and unimpeded unless there is a specific medical condition? Stuff like the MCO is "fake it until you make it" with most of the benefit in training intent rather than opening energy pathways. If you're relaxed properly then the MCO will naturally open.

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Hello again,

 

My first round of questions/doubts deals about the nature and characteristics of this “energy”, but seen from an experiential point of view. I had many doubts before considering these questions feasible or useful, taking into account that “experiences” may not be easy to objectivize, but as we are speaking about the same flows, we can probably find a common language.

 

A Dan-tien is specifically a field (tien) for producing the elixir/pill (dan).  The three that we work with are located in the abdomen, thorax and head - which are the three main divisions of the human (and most other organisms) body.  So some would say that unless you are at the stage of producing the 'pill' there is no actual Dantien.  Similarly there is actually no MCO unless this process has started.  What most people are doing in relation to these parts of their being - especially the three areas of the Dantiens and the Eight extraordinary meridians is just laying the foundations - that is conserving, enhancing energy and removing obstacles.

In daoism there is the concept of xing and ming, or nature and existence. The ming / existence energy is related more to the feeling based energies that are denser and related to providing nourishment for the physical body. The xing / nature based energy is more related to the spirit nature that is more freedom and light oriented. There is a concept of cultivating the xing and ming together, to merge them back into oneness.

 

This is related to the theory of jing, qi, and shen. These three are originally one, and become separate. When they are returned to one it is a type of emptiness or void. It is not really empty, as it holds the potential for all manifestations, yet it feels empty, as it has no shape. It is perhaps like a type of clarity that holds no space.

 

As I understand it (my knowledge is very limited, so I apologize for my mistakes), Daoist theory considers different types and flavors of this energy. They speak about qi, jing and shen. It can be yin or yang, pre- or post-heaven. Even yin and yang can be mixed in the 8 combinations of three elements, each combination having different attributes. I am not too sure but it seems to me that the ancient elements (water, fire, earth, metal and so on) form also part of the recipe.

 

I will not ask about the symbolic meaning that may be hidden under this enormous complexity, but on how these different types and flavors are felt, because the basic attributes I can feel are only three: intensity, direction and position.

 

Intensity is always growing; it is higher than it was few months ago, and will surely be higher next month than today. Could this different perception, as the intensity surpasses different thresholds, be the reason under different names to energy types, but they are always the same energy? For example, infrared and microwaves are the same type of electromagnetic energy, but their very different wavelengths give them very different properties.

 

The perception of implosions/explosions of energy really make a difference, so my guess is that direction plays a role in the yin/yang dichotomy. Yin inwards; yang outwards. Also feminine and masculine, as feminine orgasms are implosive and masculine orgasms are explosive. My wife and I felt as a big breakthrough the moment when we realized our intrinsic androgyny, but does this mean that we have reached the required yin/yang balance? Or the right tool to reach it, as we can reverse the flow at will?

 

On this same subject, I have seen yin described as cool and yang as warm, but I have this feeling only when intake and expulsion of energy is in sync with breath, so I feel the fresh outside air coming in when energy comes in (yin) and warm air out when energy goes out. Otherwise my warm/cool feeling is quite neutral; is there something missing?

 

Finally, the segmentation issue. The growing intensity of the energy plays surely a role, but its effects seem also to depend on where this energy is felt. I can feel four different segments between diaphragm and perineum, but they all have a similar “taste”, different from the taste of segments from diaphragm to neck and also from the structures located in the head, so this grouping of all segments in just three blocks makes sense to me. From my readings, I understand that the lower segments have to do with, say, “physical” issues: survival, food, mating; the middle block has to do with “mind issues”, i.e. knowledge, love; and the higher block (the head) has to do with the more slippery concept of “spirit”. There is a lot to talk about this; maybe later.

 

The point now is that we can feel energy in all these blocks, but with different intensity. As our “cultivation” method is based on sex, intensities in the lower block are now incredibly high, leading to an implosive/explosive, boundless feeling when our internal nodes (dantien?) seem to fuse together. But the energy is slowly but steadily going upwards, and we have already had some short but quite weird experiences in the middle block (hearth). I wonder what may happen when this middle-block connection gains intensity and we experience this “fusion-like” feeling. And I really can’t imagine the implications of this powerful connection taking place in our heads. When you manage this energy on your own you have a kind of safety valve, as you can have an idea on where your limits are, but when this energy is shared, is there a risk of “frying” the weakest partner?

 

These are my main doubts (for the moment) about the nature of this energy. My other concerns deal about its management and, specially, about its consequences. I will comment in further posts some very deep concepts you mentioned on these issues, but I would like to see first how discussion unfolds on this one. There is a lot to talk about nature, management and consequences, so all together this may lead to an excessively long thread; do you think it feasible, or reasonable? Should I open different threads?

 

Thank you all again for your help. At any rate, your answers so far have been very useful to us.

juan

Edited by juan
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Phew!  There's a lot in your last post.  I'm guessing you don't really want to discuss yinyang-wuxing theory as mentioned in your first post but are more interested in the experiential energy working.

 

However, I would agree that jing-qi-shen are a spectrum of energy, rather like ice-water-steam ... phase shifts of the same essential substance.  Jing is the most condensed without actually being a physical substance.  The Wu-Xing five element theory has an interesting history, there are some good resources for study of this.

 

Some of what you say is suggestive of Kan Li and the reversion to Qian - K'un.  That is a post celestial to pre-celestial state.

 

Dual cultivation is a special topic and I will leave others to answer this.

 

As regards other threads - well this one is very good so I would push it until you feel the need to open up a whole new area.

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Hi Juan,

 

Regarding your interest in the correlation between the Hindu and Taoist systems, you might find the following video helpful:

 

 

Good luck to you.

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This is a GREAT thread.

Just thought I'd give it a "bump"... :) 

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Hi juan,

 

You have a lot of great questions. I'd say you are thinking on the right track, and will find your answers, but:

 

When the whole is divided, parts need names.

 

There is a fine balance to the study of parts. The more we explore the pieces, the more pieces we discover, and the implications of how they each relate to everything else becomes very complex indeed! Perhaps this is why daoist cosmology takes the effort to explore the beginnings, but very quickly speaks of everything else as the 10,000 things.

 

When we look at the parts in terms of how they relate to polarity, as in yin and yang relative to a given perspective and situation, we are simply looking for balance within a situation. Often this comes in the form of stillness paired with what has been moving. Acceptance paired with what has been pushed away. Trust paired with what has been judged. All of these things lead toward emptiness - toward the subtle and mysterious balance of all things. This emptiness can be frustrating. It isn't the definitive answer we so frequently seek. But so often that definitive answer merely propels us to a polarized perspective and we keep running in circles around the circumference rather than coming to rest in the center. It is when we merge both to the middle that we find the center, and often it is necessary to relearn what it is like to gestate within this subtle and mysterious energy. This subtle and mysterious energy is associated with virtue and power, or life force. The more we go to the edges, the more we expend our life-force, and the more coarse our functioning becomes. The more we learn to return to the center, the more harmonious our functioning, and the more whole we become in terms of health.

 

I have not explored much with dual cultivation, so I cannot give you answers. But perhaps some basic guidelines that apply to all things will help. Seek what is balanced and mutual, within each self and with each other. Come to understand how things are always changing over time and learn to adapt to these changes harmoniously. Recognize that moderation is key - extremes are often what set us on rapid courses of rising and falling, and it is difficult to find balance with such momentums.

 

In terms of energy, I think you are on a good track. The directions of qi might be slightly different in the pre-celestial compared with the post-celestial, similar to how the gravity on this planet gives us an up and down, forward and back, left and right, while it still includes the lesser, greater, inside, and outside within, even as our up and down is somewhat like an inside and outside from the planetary perspective.

 

Blessings to your way. :wub:

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Hi Juan,

 

Regarding your interest in the correlation between the Hindu and Taoist systems, you might find the following video helpful:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmje1QOTGsY

 

Good luck to you.

Do digestive problems really hinder ones ability to sense and concentrate the energy in LDT?

 

Also can anyone talk about the 'range' of ones chi perception? If it is possible to feel the energy outside your body, the energy of other people, trees and so on, is it possible to develop this ability to such a level that you can directly feel the energy of the entire galaxy for example?

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Hi Daeluin, thanks for your nice support!

 

But you (and many others, thank you all) already gave me the best advice I could get: just let the “energy” guide you. And this is what I have done, or tried to do, without taking into consideration any theory.

 

At the current stage, I would say that all these physical feelings and even mystical “experiences” need no more physical/supernatural support than our nervous system. It would be nice finding correlations between this approach and the different systems/traditions, but more and more I tend to think that this is not so much necessary, at least at the moment.

 

This “energetic”/neural process seems indeed to lead to a gradual shifting of your point of view, which could be labelled as “detachment from the ego”, “dilution” or some other rhetoric term. But again, I prefer not getting tangled with words; just watch and feel.

 

Where this way ends, if it ends somewhere, I don’t know. But the scenery is great!

Cheers,

juan

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