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What are some of the main techniques in classic Taoist meditation? It would be very helpful to hear some simple explanations on some of the fundamental techniques. There are many different techniques that have been developed such as the Inner Smile and Micro Cosmic Orbit, but as I understand these are just thought forms given to processes that occur during meditation and the movement of energy through the body, and are just different ways to achieve the same goal.  Going back to the origins of Taoism, and man's essential nature, there are no words or techniques, just feelings. How did these masters meditate and achieve immortality? It is doubtful that they were practicing a wide variety of techniques and visualizations, each with their own catch phrases and number of repetitions. It is more likely that the early Taoists practiced a simple form of meditation, with little technique, just basic guidelines from experience masters, such as collecting the mind and breath in the lower dantian. What is the classic form of Taoist meditation? It would be great to hear some opinions on the basic steps. Thanks.

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There's a book by Thomas Cleary called Taoist Meditation which Im yet to read. But it's probably conserned with what is considered "classic" daoist meditation. From my poor understanding it is in a nutshell akin to Vipassana... At least from what BK Frantzis seems to be teaching. Going inside your body and observing 4 different qualities:
1. Tension.
2. Strength(stress).

3. Contraction.

Forgot the last one.

Focus and let them dissolve in time.

Cheers.

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On 8/14/2017 at 0:48 AM, Taomeow said:

 

The earliest taoist meditations were concerned with establishing connections between the Inner Gods and the outer energies of the world, chiefly stars and constellations and their progenitors and derivatives, and were actually, in most cases, much more involved than later simplifications, bastardizations, and fusions with other systems.  They were derived from pretty arcane shamanic/magical (wu ) practices whose roots are lost in prehistory and whose documented status as the direct source of early taoism dates back 3,000 years.  

 

The type of meditation favored depends on the school, but if you move farther back in history to before schools and sects, that's what you will find:  shamanic/magical practices of an idiosyncratic "scientifically slanted," systematized kind, with a unifying cosmology and a strong immortalist focus.  Simply put, if it does not concern itself with the Big Dipper, the North Pole Star, and immortality, it's not taoist-proper.  :)      

 

Thanks. I understand Taoism evolved from arcane shamanic practices, but that doesn't necessarily make them superior. Saying a practice is improper taoism because it doesn't include the Big Dipper seems rather dogmatic. Lao Tsu and many other Taoist texts don't mention it at all. I understand the symbolic and celestial importance of the Big Dipper, North Star etc, and how they influence the body, but really how pertinent is this to basic meditation? Maybe certain practices became arbitrary over time? I know many sages achieved immortality without complex astrological preconceptions. I think the way is meant to be simple, and complicated techniques seem to be contrary to the Tao. I find thinking about things external to be a hindrance to deep meditation. Visualizations and rituals all have their place, but the whole point is to reach a state of thoughtlessness. I guess I'm not so interested in the scientific, religious Taoism. Rather the tradition of cultivation that has developed over time. 

Any other opinions on basic Taoist meditation?

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I suppose beyond technique is time.  A certain reversal.  We spend maybe an hour, two or three meditating whereas the Greats might spend 20+ hours meditating.  Keeping in state,  while awake, eating, walking, talking even asleep.  

 

 

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There is "doing" meditation and there is meditation.

When you are in meditation it will not be a type of meditation.

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'It is an example of a rather typical taoist-proper meditation, which is always twofold, internal and external (yin and yang), although in some cases the continuous interchange of movement and stillness involving the whole body happens simultaneously (like with the Sacred Dance or high level taij neigong and neijia) while sometimes the practice itself is twofold, with sitting-immobile parts and moving parts, and further, the sitting part may be twofold, wuwei-type and alchemical-type practices interchanging, and the moving part may likewise be twofold...  to give you a rough sketch.'

Taomeow, I really liked the way this comment of yours played out in my mind so I would like to add a new guy comment: In my experience, it is a blending like making a food dish, or a orchestras combined sound. The final result of the meditation/movements/emotional content, from my experience creates a tuple/egregore effect that does something, which in turn creates the experiential knowledge; which then teaches me through the experiences to become and act as a being who is more than the sum total of my present mud minded self. :)

 

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On 8/13/2017 at 9:48 PM, Taomeow said:

 

 Simply put, if it does not concern itself with the Big Dipper, the North Pole Star, and immortality, it's not taoist-proper.  :)      

 

 

3 hours ago, turtlehermit said:

Saying a practice is improper taoism because it doesn't include the Big Dipper seems rather dogmatic.

 

Merriam-Webster lists 9 meanings (with a number of sub-meanings) of the word "proper," of which you seem to know #7 and #8 and assume that that's what I meant.  However, in reality I meant #1, #2 and #6.  Context, man.

 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proper 

 

3 hours ago, turtlehermit said:

 

Lao Tsu and many other Taoist texts don't mention it at all.

 

 

You asked about "going back to the origins of taoism," and that's what I answered.  The documented origins of taoism predate Laozi by about 4 thousand years. 

 

4 hours ago, turtlehermit said:

 

I know many sages achieved immortality without complex astrological preconceptions. I think the way is meant to be simple, and complicated techniques seem to be contrary to the Tao.

 

 

Well, if you already know everything, perhaps instead of asking a question you should have given a lecture to begin with?  That, I would have left without comments.  Consider yourself successful in fooling me into believing you really asked a question.  Won't happen again. 

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1 hour ago, mrpasserby said:

'It is an example of a rather typical taoist-proper meditation, which is always twofold, internal and external (yin and yang), although in some cases the continuous interchange of movement and stillness involving the whole body happens simultaneously (like with the Sacred Dance or high level taij neigong and neijia) while sometimes the practice itself is twofold, with sitting-immobile parts and moving parts, and further, the sitting part may be twofold, wuwei-type and alchemical-type practices interchanging, and the moving part may likewise be twofold...  to give you a rough sketch.'

Taomeow, I really liked the way this comment of yours played out in my mind so I would like to add a new guy comment: In my experience, it is a blending like making a food dish, or a orchestras combined sound. The final result of the meditation/movements/emotional content, from my experience creates a tuple/egregore effect that does something, which in turn creates the experiential knowledge; which then teaches me through the experiences to become and act as a being who is more than the sum total of my present mud minded self. :)

 

 

Thanks for your thoughts, MrP!   I wouldn't presume to know what you mean by "tuple/egregore effect," but the general idea of co-creation you seem to be tracking is pivotal in all taoist endeavors.  You are not "created" passively and you do not "create" yourself from scratch.  The outcome of co-creating with tao is a state of "embodying" it.  "When the superior man hears about the tao, he embodies it" -- Laozi.  Not "follows" as many translate this well-known passage.  And most certainly not thinks, believes, decides, agrees, disagrees, likes, dislikes and so on.  Embodies.  Simple?  Uh-huh...  ;)

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As I understand it diet, emotions, state of consciousness, environment, breathing, celibacy and standing and seated meditations are the keys to alchemy.

 

Taoism is a bit of a red herring really because the real heavyweights in this department are the kalahari bushmen and they're tiny too -- under 5 ft lol.

 

I read in a book that a Chinese energy master went to meet with the bushmen and when he felt their energy he was put into a coma!

 

 

If you look carefully you can see they're all a but suspicious of THE WHITE MAN'S magic.

 

It's just so funny how oblivious he is. He even says "in a way you carry a secret in your blood" lol

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Alchemy training was never really embedded into the Chinese culture the way it is for the San. For the San the whole thing is transparent to what they know. They are the original alchemists, as well as the original human culture. Everything else is deviation.

 

Where the bushmen live was literally not even on the map in the 1940s. When they were finally discovered it was realised that their ways had remained unchanged for 10s of thousands of years. Really heaven on earth had been discovered when the bushmen were found.

 

So Taoism is great, but bushmen culture is greater!

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Maybe the concept of meditation is really Buddhist, and "proper" Taoist meditation would be some kind of trance state? (Personally I lie down and listen to recorded Tibetan gongs, tea & honey can help preventing falling asleep.) Thomas Cleary I see as someone who seeks Buddhist ideas in other traditions. Nirvana is nothingness and stillness, death in a way, but Dao is something else at least in my view (came across this article that goes into some of the differences between them http://friesian.com/divebomb.htm). 

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13 minutes ago, kenobi said:

Maybe the concept of meditation is really Buddhist, and "proper" Taoist meditation would be some kind of trance state? (Personally I lie down and listen to recorded Tibetan gongs, tea & honey can help preventing falling asleep.) Thomas Cleary I see as someone who seeks Buddhist ideas in other traditions. Nirvana is nothingness and stillness, death in a way, but Dao is something else at least in my view (came across this article that goes into some of the differences between them http://friesian.com/divebomb.htm). 

 

There is no "proper taoist meditation" but there's "taost-proper" meditation.  Proprietary.  Idiosyncratic.  Much like in a church, a mosque, an ashram or a temple there may be prayer taking place, but prayer to Jesus is Christian-proper, and if you go to a Catholic church and pray to Allah aloud, it's going to raise an eyebrow or two.  However, if in your heart you feel Allah is more likely to answer your prayer than Jesus, who's to stop you from praying to him?  Just don't roll out the salah rug in front of the crucifix and don't lift your butt toward it while you're doing your Mecca-facing prostrations.  That would be "improper." :)

 

The trance state, except for a very narrow band of applications, is not indicated in the taoist tradition -- it's all about consciousness.  Trance is an absentee state, meditation is a present state. 

 

The concept of "meditation" is not "Buddhist-proper."  Even animals meditate.  (Confirmed scientifically by brain waves monitoring.)  The premises and goals is what determines the techniques.  Original taoist methods and goals are based on the taoist-proper view of the nature of reality, which does not overlap with the Buddhist view except in the mind of a modern eclectic individual.  

 

Meditation is not a destination.  It's a means of transportation.  You can get from New York to Los Angeles on foot, by plane, by car, or by teleportation.  But if you choose your destination as Los Angeles, you don't want to board the plane going to Warsaw.

 

  If you don't know where you're going with your journey and what for, and just want to go somewhere for a change of scene, that's fine too, but it's not taoist meditation.  It's Western "relaxation."  The "you" is generic, not singling out you personally. 

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16 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

 

There is no "proper taoist meditation" but there's "taost-proper" meditation.  Proprietary.  Idiosyncratic.  Much like in a church, a mosque, an ashram or a temple there may be prayer taking place, but prayer to Jesus is Christian-proper, and if you go to a Catholic church and pray to Allah aloud, it's going to raise an eyebrow or two.  However, if in your heart you feel Allah is more likely to answer your prayer than Jesus, who's to stop you from praying to him?  Just don't roll out the salah rug in front of the crucifix and don't lift your butt toward it while you're doing your Mecca-facing prostrations.  That would be "improper." :)

 

The trance state, except for a very narrow band of applications, is not indicated in the taoist tradition -- it's all about consciousness.  Trance is an absentee state, meditation is a present state. 

 

The concept of "meditation" is not "Buddhist-proper."  Even animals meditate.  (Confirmed scientifically by brain waves monitoring.)  The premises and goals is what determines the techniques.  Original taoist methods and goals are based on the taoist-proper view of the nature of reality, which does not overlap with the Buddhist view except in the mind of a modern eclectic individual.  

 

Meditation is not a destination.  It's a means of transportation.  You can get from New York to Los Angeles on foot, by plane, by car, or by teleportation.  But if you choose your destination as Los Angeles, you don't want to board the plane going to Warsaw.

 

  If you don't know where you're going with your journey and what for, and just want to go somewhere for a change of scene, that's fine too, but it's not taoist meditation.  It's Western "relaxation."  The "you" is generic, not singling out you personally. 

 

If meditation is a present state, then what is the destination of it then? Maybe it's just improving perception and learning ability, gamma waves, as this page says.

http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/04/15/5-types-of-brain-waves-frequencies-gamma-beta-alpha-theta-delta/

 

That might be useful for something like martial arts (and for animals), but not for reaching a better understanding of the Dao at least in my view.

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28 minutes ago, kenobi said:

 

If meditation is a present state, then what is the destination of it then? Maybe it's just improving perception and learning ability, gamma waves, as this page says.

http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/04/15/5-types-of-brain-waves-frequencies-gamma-beta-alpha-theta-delta/

 

That might be useful for something like martial arts (and for animals), but not for reaching a better understanding of the Dao at least in my view.

 

What's the destination?  Traditionally, you decide based on your tradition's view of where you can realistically go with it.  In modern times, with traditions lost to most ("brain waves" are nobody's traditional destination) it's like with everything else...  whateverism rules.  Whatever I want to believe, I believe.  Whatever I do is legit because it's I, me, who is the boss of the universe and knows everything about everything.  Whatever doesn't go as I expected it to, I'll find someone to blame for. 

 

Your last paragraph, I'm not sure I understand.  "That" meaning what?  Meditation?  Is not "for reaching a better understanding of the Dao?" 

 

Whatever. :)

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22 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

 

What's the destination?  Traditionally, you decide based on your tradition's view of where you can realistically go with it.  In modern times, with traditions lost to most ("brain waves" are nobody's traditional destination) it's like with everything else...  whateverism rules.  Whatever I want to believe, I believe.  Whatever I do is legit because it's I, me, who is the boss of the universe and knows everything about everything.  Whatever doesn't go as I expected it to, I'll find someone to blame for. 

 

Your last paragraph, I'm not sure I understand.  "That" meaning what?  Meditation?  Is not "for reaching a better understanding of the Dao?" 

 

Whatever. :)

Ummm...

 

Your whateverophobia is harshing my neotraditional self-universobossarianism.

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err, when you jump over the outstanding posts of Taomeow ( thanks for tthat TM, i enjoyed it) you might start with just sitting with a gentle focus on your lower dantien. When not yet able to feel that, on the lower abdomen. And try to see as a ' goal' that you become aware of your body, to really feel it. 

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Sit down, shut up, and stop thinking.

 

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

Thanks for your thoughts, MrP!   I wouldn't presume to know what you mean by "tuple/egregore effect," but the general idea of co-creation you seem to be tracking is pivotal in all taoist endeavors.  You are not "created" passively and you do not "create" yourself from scratch.  The outcome of co-creating with tao is a state of "embodying" it.  "When the superior man hears about the tao, he embodies it" -- Laozi.  Not "follows" as many translate this well-known passage.  And most certainly not thinks, believes, decides, agrees, disagrees, likes, dislikes and so on.  Embodies.  Simple?  Uh-huh...  ;)

Taomeow, thanks for this deep wisdom. :)

 

Edited by mrpasserby
word correction
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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Aletheia said:

Alchemy training was never really embedded into the Chinese culture the way it is for the San. For the San the whole thing is transparent to what they know. They are the original alchemists, as well as the original human culture. Everything else is deviation.

 

Where the bushmen live was literally not even on the map in the 1940s. When they were finally discovered it was realised that their ways had remained unchanged for 10s of thousands of years. Really heaven on earth had been discovered when the bushmen were found.

 

So Taoism is great, but bushmen culture is greater!

Aletheia, I thank you for this good information. I am new and I am trying to match my practices with taoism.  In the Trance Dance video that I watched I saw a nice person going through what in my culture are the beginnings of the first initiation, which starts when you successfully face your own demons. I enjoyed watching the collective mind system of the Bushmen tribe working to assist one of their own in this cultivation process. I hope that we can share more spirit based information in the future. :)

Edited by mrpasserby
Reworded for clairity

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16 hours ago, Taomeow said:

Merriam-Webster lists 9 meanings (with a number of sub-meanings) of the word "proper," of which you seem to know #7 and #8 and assume that that's what I meant.  However, in reality I meant #1, #2 and #6.  Context, man.

You asked about "going back to the origins of taoism," and that's what I answered.  The documented origins of taoism predate Laozi by about 4 thousand years. 

 

Sorry for the misunderstanding, I meant no disrespect. Talking context, by classic I meant something more like "standard" or "golden", not old. 

15 hours ago, Taomeow said:

  "When the superior man hears about the tao, he embodies it" -- Laozi.  Not "follows" as many translate this well-known passage.  And most certainly not thinks, believes, decides, agrees, disagrees, likes, dislikes and so on.  Embodies.  Simple?  Uh-huh...  ;)

And by simple, I didn't necessarily mean easy. When a foolish man hears of the Tao he laughs out loud. Lao Tzu. If it wasn't simple he wouldn't laugh.

 

The original question wasn't necessarily about the origins but of the basic, time tested methods that seem to work for people. All opinions are appreciated. I was just stating mine, and I notice you like to do the same. If you could explain how the big dipper and north star help in your meditation that would be appreciated. Sorry, I just tend to see a red flag whenever I hear something that sounds dogmatic or absolutist. 

2 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Sit down, shut up, and stop thinking.

 

Would love to hear some more answers like this. I love when people talk about not talking :) 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, mrpasserby said:

I thank you for this good information. In the 2nd video that I watched I saw a nice person going through what in my coulure is the beginnings of the first initiation which is facing your own demons, were your lower self which is the seat of your power, and the roots of your tree of life, must be placed in its proper order. Once passed this state of growth, in my culture, you have to work to pass the high initiation. I am not a taoiest and I mean no offense but taoism has the forms of the spirit that I am fitting my spirit based processes into at this time. I hope that we can share more spirit based information in the future.

 

Yes, the video is literally the original garden of eden -- It's the dao manifest and beyond my understanding really.

 

mrpasserby I think there's more going on in the video then most people can understand. voidisyinyang knows about it but he's banned at the moment. There are psychic energy exchanges going on between the men and the women and the women are on the ground singing in stillness while the men are dancing.

 

The women also have their menstrual cycles synced with the moon too which we see in the video and they're sublimating the energy then the men and sucking up the energy and are celibate too and then combining all the energy then leaving their bodies and astral travelling, communicating with distant lands, climbing the ropes of the gods and all kinds of other stuff I have no idea about.

 

All I know is the thing is super high level!

Edited by Aletheia
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