七星門

I have questions!

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"Stand up & introduce yourself & share something personal," here goes... 

 

I come from a background of a highly syncretic western hermeticism & while I am comfortably familiar with Yi King, Daodejing & Zhaungzhou, I'm discovering that my understanding of Daoism has been severely limited/defined by 19th century scholarship & almost entirely based on two texts in a Canon composed of 5k+ (?) volumes. 

 

I'm setting out to correct this deficit & to learn what I can from Daoism & integrate it's unique philosophy/practices into my personal framework. 

 

To this end I've been reading Robinet, Maspero, am working my way through Bokenkamp's Early Daoist Scriptures. Wong's Seven Taoist Masters is my bedtime reading & so far I've been digging all these. 

 

Then yesterday I read Brock Silver's Taoist Manual to get a better understanding of modern Daoist practice & was a little taken aback, the simplicity & naturalness that I expected seems to be better preserved (represented?) in Chan than in modern Daoism. I understand that it's a living tradition & has undergone elaboration but the dizzying proliferation of dieties, the heavy focus on veneration, what seem to me severely proscriptive codes of conduct, particularly those against sexual activities & it's attendant heteronormativity, the inherent uncleanliness of women...just, wow. This seems so far from the philosophy & practice of what I now think is more a romantic fantasy than reality. My perception is that of a righteous tone throughout the work, a never ending litany of "you're not a Taoist, but I am, do as I say" disturbed me despite not identifying as a Daoist...perhaps I'm not humble enough, or maybe he's too puffed up. I do have a fair measure of rebelliousness & more than a little of Cartman's "I do what I want!" 

 

This has turned into a very long ramble, but getting to the question, is this really the state of modern Daoism? How do you reconcile equanimity, madhyamika, simplicity, salvation through personal endeavor & celestial intervention, & an "enlightened" perspective with these strong distinctions between "right" & "wrong"? Said otherwise why is he so judgy & how does the average western Daoist reconcile this with modern sensibilities, i.e. equality of the sexes, morally acceptable safe consensual sex, & generally not being a douche? Are these essential elements or are they Chinese societal norms that became integrated with Daoism? 

 

Is there a "primordial" (or maybe I mean "progressive") school of Daoism out there that dispenses with these things? A better question, has my admittedly limited understanding of Daoism created a fantasy of "primordial Daoism"? 

 

Thanks in advance for suffering through this long post & any insight you may have. 

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Hello七星門 and welcome.

 

Your membership is approved and we're happy you found your way to us. We look forward to accompanying you on some of the way that you still have to go.

 

Please take the time to read the post pinned at the top of this Welcome page and take a look at the forum Terms and Rules.   This covers all you need to know when getting started.

 

For the first week you will be restricted to ten posts per day but after that you can post as much as you like. Also, until you’ve posted fifteen times in the forums, you’ll be a “Junior Bum” with somewhat restricted access and will be allowed only two private messages per day.

 

Good luck in your pursuits and best wishes to you,

 

Marblehead and the TDB team

 

 

Hi jza,

 

Yep, you have questions.  My main interest in Daoism is how it applies to my real world.  There are some here who enjoy reading the ancient texts.  Join in applicable discussions and see where your questions lead.

 

You are welcome to jump right in ongoing discussions, revive an older thread, start a new thread of your own, or start a discussion in the "Newcomer Corner" sub-forms to expand on your introduction or ask general questions to help you get started.

 

May you enjoy your time here.

 

Marblehead

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3 hours ago, 七星門 said:

A better question, has my admittedly limited understanding of Daoism created a fantasy of "primordial Daoism"? 

 

Yes

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6 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

 

Yes

 

& your opinion on the proscriptions? Do they serve a purpose or are they simply norms particular to a place in time? 

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Human life is based on proscriptions. They are vital. Not running red lights, not playing with matches is vital. Similarly the religious proscriptions are vital, just not obvious.

 

im-not-a-control-freak-romhome-i-just-kn

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16 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

Human life is based on proscriptions. They are vital. Not running red lights, not playing with matches is vital. Similarly the religious proscriptions are vital, just not obvious.

 

im-not-a-control-freak-romhome-i-just-kn

 

And the prescription is to continue on your fantasy...

 

I've read  Robinet, Maspero, Bokenkamp's Early Daoist Scriptures,  Wong...

 

In most cases, reading doesn't infuse enough understanding of Dao.

 

Just feel Dao... and the call or signal you feel.   

 

 

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9 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

Human life is based on proscriptions. They are vital. Not running red lights, not playing with matches is vital. Similarly the religious proscriptions are vital, just not obvious.

 

 

 

To be clear, you're saying 

Veganism, celibacy & avoiding women during their menses is essential? 

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yes, i do

of course it is

 

And science seems to support the idea that a plant-based diet can be healthier. A major study published in 2016 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reviewed 12 diet trials involving 1,151 people and found that people on a vegan diet lost ‘significantly more weight’ — around 5.5 lb more — than those on non-vegetarian diets, including the Atkins low-carb regimen.

A 2012 study found a 32 per cent lower risk of heart disease among vegetarians.

Meanwhile, a study published in the British Medical Journal last year found that eating red and processed meat increased the risk of premature death by any cause in people aged 50 to 71.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5383413/What-really-happens-carnivore-vegan.html#ixzz577BrdTKh 
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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2 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

yes, i do

of course it is

 

And science seems to support the idea that a plant-based diet can be healthier. A major study published in 2016 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reviewed 12 diet trials involving 1,151 people and found that people on a vegan diet lost ‘significantly more weight’ — around 5.5 lb more — than those on non-vegetarian diets, including the Atkins low-carb regimen.

A 2012 study found a 32 per cent lower risk of heart disease among vegetarians.

Meanwhile, a study published in the British Medical Journal last year found that eating red and processed meat increased the risk of premature death by any cause in people aged 50 to 71.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5383413/What-really-happens-carnivore-vegan.html#ixzz577BrdTKh 
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

 That's the thing about science, a quick Google search on studies will confirm whatever conclusion you're determined to prove. I have epilepsy & follow a ketogenic diet, & similar claims can be found about it or the Mediterranean diet, etc. etc. You can, in fact, find studies that contradict all these claims of benefit. That's why proper research takes all of these into account & arrives at a greater synthesis. 

 

There's also a paucity of data on the benefits of celibacy. 

 

How do you determine which women you interact with daily are bleeding? 

 

All that said, I'm interested in a Daoist explanation since they have their own model to examine phenomena, rather than attempting to resort to our comfortable modern sciencism. 

 

Edited by 七星門
a word
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20 hours ago, 七星門 said:

Then yesterday I read Brock Silver's Taoist Manual to get a better understanding of modern Daoist practice & was a little taken aback, the simplicity & naturalness that I expected seems to be better preserved (represented?) in Chan than in modern Daoism. I understand that it's a living tradition & has undergone elaboration but the dizzying proliferation of dieties, the heavy focus on veneration, what seem to me severely proscriptive codes of conduct, particularly those against sexual activities & it's attendant heteronormativity, the inherent uncleanliness of women...just, wow. This seems so far from the philosophy & practice of what I now think is more a romantic fantasy than reality.

As an interesting aside, I grew up across the street from Brock Silvers.  Smart kid, studied Chinese, lost touch with him but heard he was rebuilding Taoist monasteries.   I didn't know he'd written a book, though it's not surprising.  I'll have to get it.  From my recollection Brock was a pretty straight shooter and beyond books and philosophy he spent much time in actual monasteries.  

 

I'd add many find.. disconnects between the Taoist philosophy and the formal Taoist religion.  Which is fine.  Odds are we're not heading to live in a monastery or venerate the Taoist pantheon.  My life is better lived adhering to a few of the wise philosophical leanings.. bastardized and westernized they may be. 

 

addon> bought the (e)book.  Another disconnect= $5 on Kindle, otherwise $62 and up from 3rd party sellers.  I'm reminded in one of my last conversations with Brock he mentioned that Traditional Taoist would not consider Mantak Chia Taoist.  So I'm not surprised his viewpoints come from an orthodox, old world view. 

 

Taoism is old, many roots and branches.  Some shamanic, others dogmatic; many borrowing and adopting folk religions customs of ages past.  It's not alone in that.  The fact that such differences exist is owed to its flexibility, versus so many religions that have killed off, successfully or not, their shamanic and mystical origins as well as pantheons that didn't make the cut.  

Edited by thelerner
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I have studied the Western and Chinese esoteric traditions for a long time, some idea about my studies and approach can be found in these two threads in my PPD:

 

What, me teach? Ok, sure why not . . .

 

Ritual Daoism's part in Chinese Magic and Alchemy

 

Please fee free to post questions in either of these.

 

I haven't read Brock Silver's book, and not knowing more, cannot address it directly. 

 

Stephen Bokenkamp's Early Daoist Scripture's, last section on "The Wondrous Scripture of the Upper Chapters on Limitless Salvation", were of enormous importance to my understanding of "Religious Daoism", which I prefer to call Ritual Daoism, in its deepest and most profound meaning.  Among other things it provides a good liturgical map and practice for unifying Neo-Platonic Theurgy with Daoist Ritual and internal alchemy practice.

 

I have hinted a little about this in one of my posts on Cornelius Agrippa's use of Aristotle's Four Causes by applying Aristotle's "unmoved mover" concept to explaining the Daoist concept of wuwei, nonaction:

 

On 1/7/2015 at 6:06 PM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

I think I will break all this exposition up with a little look at areas of applicability. Earlier I said that:

 

On 1/3/2015 at 5:40 PM, Zhongyongdaoist said:

Long before there was Chaos Theory, there was Order Theory and in Order Theory, the "attractor", great, strange or whatever was called the Telos, the which is an Anglicization of the Greek word rendered as "Final".

 

I will take one powerful application of these ideas and apply them to modeling Daoism, since many people here have an interest both in Daoism and Western Esoteric traditions, but first I want to point out that while these Aristotelian principles are used as explanatory principles in Agrippa, in Agrippa they have been thoroughly assimilated to a fundamentally Platonist worldview, a task first undertaken by those thinkers usually categorized as Middle Platonists, whose ideas were admirably synthesized and expounded by Plotinus and his successors.

 

The whole discussion is too long to quote here, but you can follow the link to finish it.

 

I don't have time to say much more now.

 

ZYD

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22 hours ago, 七星門 said:

 

Is there a "primordial" (or maybe I mean "progressive") school of Daoism out there that dispenses with these things? A better question, has my admittedly limited understanding of Daoism created a fantasy of "primordial Daoism"? 

 

 

No.  It is real, but it is not something you can find in any one place, within any one school or sect -- what makes it primordial is its existence before these.  Practices that retained taoist fundamentals are scattered across the whole landscape, though some schools and sects lost sight of them completely and got sidetracked into god only knows what. 

 

The ones that went with this or that monastic fad of Indo-European origins like vegetarianism or celibacy have nothing whatsoever to do with them.  Taoists arranged themselves into monasteries when it became necessary to curb Buddhist monastic land grab and the resulting outrageous competition fueled by money and power -- Buddhist monasteries were exempt from paying imperial taxes but allowed to keep serfs to work their fields, and grew disproportionately fat.  The whole monastic doctrine was political and economic in nature, nothing to do with "primordial" anything.     

 

Fundamentals?  Hetu, Luoshu, wuji, qi, yin-yang, wuxing, bagua, ganying, I Ching.  Best explored via a taoist practice.  No practice, no understanding, no matter how many books "about" one reads. 

 

Don't believe everything you read.  Including online.  :D Happy discoveries to you.   

Edited by Taomeow
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4 hours ago, thelerner said:

As an interesting aside, I grew up across the street from Brock Silvers.  Smart kid, studied Chinese, lost touch with him but heard he was rebuilding Taoist monasteries.   I didn't know he'd written a book, though it's not surprising.  I'll have to get it.  From my recollection Brock was a pretty straight shooter and beyond books and philosophy he spent much time in actual monasteries.  

 

I'd add many find.. disconnects between the Taoist philosophy and the formal Taoist religion.  Which is fine.  Odds are we're not heading to live in a monastery or venerate the Taoist pantheon.  My life is better lived adhering to a few of the wise philosophical leanings.. bastardized and westernized they may be. 

 

addon> bought the (e)book.  Another disconnect= $5 on Kindle, otherwise $62 and up from 3rd party sellers.  I'm reminded in one of my last conversations with Brock he mentioned that Traditional Taoist would not consider Mantak Chia Taoist.  So I'm not surprised his viewpoints come from an orthodox, old world view. 

 

Taoism is old, many roots and branches.  Some shamanic, others dogmatic; many borrowing and adopting folk religions customs of ages past.  It's not alone in that.  The fact that such differences exist is owed to its flexibility, versus so many religions that have killed off, successfully or not, their shamanic and mystical origins as well as pantheons that didn't make the cut.  

 

This is great. He seems to know what he's talking about, & I thank you for confirming he's both competent & ultra-orthodox, this was the first time I encountered this draconian code of conduct as a current practice. I'll take away what I can without rejecting it on the whole because of the objectionable bits.

 

I also purchased purchased the Kindle edition for $5, the pictures are low-res but adequate & in the catalogue of Gods there are some misplaced/repeated, Ge Hong appears twice under the wrong dieties. There was also an odd choice to right-justify the text in the catalogue, at least on my device. Overall, well-worth $5.

 

I am using his guidance to set up a little Daoist altar for my meditation & breath work, I dig Laozi so it's convenient that he holds a position in the celestial bureaucracy! I'll post pictures in a thread once it's complete. 

 

3 hours ago, Zhongyongdaoist said:

I have studied the Western and Chinese esoteric traditions for a long time, some idea about my studies and approach can be found in these two threads in my PPD:

 

What, me teach? Ok, sure why not . . .

 

Ritual Daoism's part in Chinese Magic and Alchemy

 

Please fee free to post questions in either of these.

 

I haven't read Brock Silver's book, and not knowing more, cannot address it directly. 

 

Stephen Bokenkamp's Early Daoist Scripture's, last section on "The Wondrous Scripture of the Upper Chapters on Limitless Salvation", were of enormous importance to my understanding of "Religious Daoism", which I prefer to call Ritual Daoism, in its deepest and most profound meaning.  Among other things it provides a good liturgical map and practice for unifying Neo-Platonic Theurgy with Daoist Ritual and internal alchemy practice.

 

I have hinted a little about this in one of my posts on Cornelius Agrippa's use of Aristotle's Four Causes by applying Aristotle's "unmoved mover" concept to explaining the Daoist concept of wuwei, nonaction:

 

 

The whole discussion is too long to quote here, but you can follow the link to finish it.

 

I don't have time to say much more now.

 

ZYD

 

Thank you, very helpful & a relevant parallel to a model I already understand. I'll read through the threads as soon as I finish my coffee. As part of this learning process I'm hoping to find a way to reconcile transcendentalism & immanence, something Daoism with it's shamanic roots & hermetic evolution has somehow perhaps accomplished. These threads may start me on the way. 

 

1 hour ago, Taomeow said:

 

No.  It is real, but it is not something you can find in any one place, within any one school or sect -- what makes it primordial is its existence before these.  Practices that retained taoist fundamentals are scattered across the whole landscape, though some schools and sects lost sight of them completely and got sidetracked into god only knows what. 

 

The ones that went with this or that monastic fad of Indo-European origins like vegetarianism or celibacy have nothing whatsoever to do with them.  Taoists arranged themselves into monasteries when it became necessary to curb Buddhist monastic land grab and the resulting outrageous competition fueled by money and power -- Buddhist monasteries were exempt from paying imperial taxes but allowed to keep serfs to work their fields, and grew disproportionately fat.  The whole monastic doctrine was political and economic in nature, nothing to do with "primordial" anything.     

 

Fundamentals?  Hetu, Luoshu, wuji, qi, yin-yang, wuxing, bagua, ganying, I Ching.  Best explored via a taoist practice.  No practice, no understanding, no matter how many books "about" one reads. 

 

Don't believe everything you read.  Including online.  :D Happy discoveries to you.   

 

It hadn't occurred to me that economic pressures shaped the practice of modern monastic practice, or the establishment of monasteries at all. I was trying to understand how we moved from the itinerant wanderer or man on the mountain ideal to being closed up in monasteries surrounded by exquisite wealth. 

 

I have already instituted a practice using Daoist techniques, bastardized though it may be! In all religions I tend to see the outer forms as a concretion of the primordial or philosophic principles, without which an experiential--& therefore intuitive--understanding is difficult. 

 

I appreciate all of your replies, I think I'll stick around. 

Edited by 七星門
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Of interest, in Taoism and Chinese Religion collects all of Maspero's work that I've sampled piecemeal, I've found a reasonable answer. Robinet is erudite, but as I'm reading her Taoist Meditation I keep having to run down another side path to really understand what she's talking about. She makes a comment early in the book,  something the effect of "Maspero has sufficiently covered breath work." 

 

Investigating this, I turn to the back of the book, his essay on Methods of Nourishing the Vital Principle, & the very first paragraphs succinctly speaks to my questions: 

 

"One of the most curious characteristics of Daoist religion is its constant and intimate intermingling of practises of a very absorbing public and private worship--mystical practices seeking concentration and ecstasy, and practises of moral life, almsgiving, teaching and so on--with practises which (even Daoists admit) have only a physiological value and interest: regimens of diet, sexual intercourse, breathing exercises, general gymnastics, and so on. To be sure, other religions also have their dietary practises, as well as sexual taboos or indulgences. But in other religions these practises always have a religious character which Daoism never gives them, although it attributes great importance to them and even makes the scrupulous observance of them an absolute condition for salvation. 

 

This peculiarity relates to the Daoists, very conception of salvation. For them salvation consists in obtaining Eternal Life or, to translate the Chinese expression literally, Long Life, changsheng 長生 , which they understood as a material immortality of the body itself. Naturally this does not mean that the Daoist religion claims to instruct all the faithful in the means of avoiding death entirely: not to die, in the strict sense, is the privilege of only a few of the most eminent saints. For ordinary believers, salvation consists in the fact that the apparent death of the body is followed by a material resurrection into an immortal body: this is what is called the Deliverance of the Corpse, shijie 尸解." 

 

As I'm reading this, the practices do not have an inherently virtuous character as we would consider them in, say Christianity, but are entirely salutary to effect the immortality of the body. 

 

Knock & it shall be opened, I suppose. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, 七星門 said:

How do you determine which women you interact with daily are bleeding? 

Conveniently, in a traditional society, an adult male would not interact at all with women of a child-bearing age, save his own wife.

 

6 hours ago, thelerner said:

Brock he mentioned that Traditional Taoist would not consider Mantak Chia Taoist. 

Well, when an imitator competes with an original product, it makes sense for him to claim that the original is fake.

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43 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

Conveniently, in a traditional society, an adult male would not interact at all with women of a child-bearing age, save his own wife.

 

Yes, but the question is not how they accomplished it, but how it can be accomplished today. 

 

What good is the practice if it's not, well...practiced?

 

How do you avoid women during their menses? 

 

Applied as a general principle, does adhering to the practice of avoiding a woman while she's "unclean" then require a strict segregation of the sexes or dictate women quarantine themselves during their menses? 

 

As you can see promoting the one leads to something I think the average person would find somewhat undesirable, if not several giant leaps backwards for the progress most industrialized nations have made in women's equality. How do you apply this without being blatantly sexist? 

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2 hours ago, 七星門 said:

Yes, but the question is not how they accomplished it, but how it can be accomplished today. 

 

What good is the practice if it's not, well...practiced?

 

How do you avoid women during their menses? 

Here, we want to be clear on what exactly we are talking about. There are 4 aspects of the chinese culture that are often lumped together:

1. there are taoist religious practices, properly defined - they contain no essential avoidance of menses

2. there is folk religion - dragon dances and local temples - menses not allowed, but essentially nobody cares

3. folk customs - Menstruating women are not to wash their clothes and their husband’s clothes together

http://indiafacts.org/views-of-menstruation-in-religions-and-cultures-around-the-world/

etc

4. buddhism - they were not scared of menses to the point of practicing gynecology in a temple

 

 

And thats all there is to it, an individual male taoist does not have to worry about menses.

Edited by Taoist Texts
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42 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

Here, we want to be clear on what exactly we are talking about. There are 3 aspects of the chinese culture that are often lumped together:

1. there are taoist religious practices, properly defined - they contain no essential avoidance of menses

2. there is folk religion - dragon dances and local temples - menses not allowed, but essentially nobody cares

3. folk customs - Menstruating women are not to wash their clothes and their husband’s clothes together

http://indiafacts.org/views-of-menstruation-in-religions-and-cultures-around-the-world/

etc

 

 

And thats all there is to it, an individual male taoist does not have to worry about menses.

 

I didn't have to cut my left arm off to get a straight answer out of you, so that's something. :P

 

"If sexual intercourse occurs during menstruation then the man will absorb the polluting essences of the woman and he will become polluted which results in penis sores and a condition called crushing red which results in other diseases and even death.”

 

So metal. ;)

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2 hours ago, 七星門 said:

 

I didn't have to cut my left arm off to get a straight answer out of you, so that's something. :P

 

Yeah, that's one of the things I like about him.  We might not always agree but at least I know where he is coming from.

 

 

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10 hours ago, 七星門 said:

 

I didn't have to cut my left arm off to get a straight answer out of you, so that's something. :P

 

"If sexual intercourse occurs during menstruation then the man will absorb the polluting essences of the woman and he will become polluted which results in penis sores and a condition called crushing red which results in other diseases and even death.”

 

So metal. ;)

 

Is this tested experience or just theory ? ;)

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Regarding taoist approach to menstruation,

 

according to my taoist teacher, most of the time it's a non-issue, however there's periods in cultivation (in our school of alchemical taoism specifically, it may be different elsewhere) when the practitioner, upon reaching a certain stage in the process, and only for the duration of that particular stage, must 

 

stay away from menstruating women if he's a male (if she's a female, the point in cultivation under consideration will not coincide with her period);

stay away from all blood -- don't cut a finger, don't walk by the hospital or a butcher's shop, etc.;

abstain from all animal foods for about a week;

avoid a particular vegetable that is "meat-like" (which one, I have in my notes, but it only grows in China, so, no worries regarding consuming it accidentally).

 

Also, female cultivators are given detailed instructions as to what to do and not to do in the course of their monthly cycle, and males are advised to follow the same practices.  Males are supposed to have cycles too but they aren't obvious to desensitized moderns, which is why their best bet is to piggyback on the wife's cycle and do as she does when she does it, or abstain from doing as she abstains -- let her call the shots and this will improve his health and his cultivation.  

Edited by Taomeow
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Posted (edited)

Late to this discussion.. But the avoidance of women during their time of the month may in some cases be a way of avoiding the accompanied emotional release they experience ? I'm sure during certain parts of cultivation it is best to keep all negative influence to a bare minimum... But maybe I am speaking out of turn. 

 

Just some food for thought. 

 

 

 

" The Emotional Release of Menstruation...

Menstruation is a time that the female body uses in order to release what is known as emotional debris - essentially, it is a method through which the body is able to allow any residual emotion that has not been dealt with and stored within the Blood, to be purged along with the menstrual Blood (Tian Gui Shui). Similarly to the way that the body will purge Heat in the Blood.

This is another reason why it is so important for the connection between the Uterus and the Heart to remain open via the Bao Mai. It is this mechanism that allows the emotional debris that is stored within the Heart to travel down to the Uterus and be expelled, enabling a woman to ‘let go’ of emotions that have arisen during the last cycle.

The menstrual period can be split into five key phases, each relating to a specific quality of emotion. The body will go through each of these phases, which progresses in the order of the Sheng cycle of the Wu Xing, processing emotions and issues that relate to that specific element.  This cycle begins with water and the processing of fears and insecurities, before moving onto Wood that involves the processing of frustrations and feelings of resentment and so on through Fire, Earth, then Metal type emotions.

Disruptions in the menstrual period can highlight issues with the body’s ability to let go of specific emotions, indicating which emotional factors are excessive, and highlight imbalances between the different aspects of the Shen. For example, should the bleeding during the third day (out of five) of the menstrual period be heavier, lighter, or more painful etc, it indicates an issue with the ability to process and release Fire type emotions and an imbalance of the Shen. This is a hugely beneficial diagnostic tool, and helps us to identify issues that may be disrupting the rest of the menstrual cycle."

Edited by kyoji

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Ohh dear, a group of men discussing 'menses'. Very interesting to read your thoughts about it. As a lady who regularly experiences periods I'll chip in my two cents here.

 

I think that it is a very misunderstood phenomenon, I am aware that many sacred texts deem it as 'dirty', 'unclean', and 'unholy', among many other things. We have reached an age where we are free to question where beliefs come from and why they originated. We are free to compare traditions, different readings and practices, and form our own ideas.

 

I was wondering whether to say this or not, but here it goes, in old shamanic traditions blood magic was still practiced. Women have access to their own blood given by nature at the expense of our life force; more than blood it is the vessel that can harbor life. It is at the same time the possibility for life and a cycle of death. It is the cycle of life-death-life lived every month. When cycles were still honored and women remembered their power, women could practice 'blood magic' during their periods. What is 'blood magic'? my understanding is that they are rituals for manipulating energy and intention, sealed with the strength of the internal metal element (blood).  A woman who can do this can be called powerful. Most women now do not honor their cycle, which is why it brings bad mood and discomfort. Most people in general don't know how to channel intention either. Intention can be good and intention can be bad, it depends on who wields it.

 

So it is my opinion that the sages of old knew of the power of a woman in her period, and counseled men to stay away. It is more out of fear than out of real danger.  But, are women really dangerous for men when on their period? I would say no. But any time you touch someone's blood I think an 'energy link' is formed, similar to what happens during sex anyway. So if you don't want to be energy linked to a particular lady don't have sex with her (at all), and specially avoid the period days. If you have a loving partner and want to get closer to her, then by all means go ahead. There is a lot to say about the interchange of energy between a couple who practices sex, regular sex causes a loss of energy (especially for the man).  Tantric practices can lead to an increase of energy for both far beyond what they could do alone.

 

So, is it dangerous for a man on the energy path to talk to a woman in her period? talking, no; casual touching, no. Sex, maybe, you need to be clear about your intention, and you need to know what you are doing and do it fully. Then again, most men are more than willing to waste their energy (sperm) in the shower or give it to a bag of tissues.  I think women on their period is not something most men should worry about.

 

How do I know these things? I've searched books, internet and libraries for all lost practices of women; but most were never written, have been banned or are lost. I have found some obscure references here and there. But, more than that, I have done my own explorations, in waking life, and in dreams. I am also part of communities of ladies who are rediscovering our truth.

 

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