Aetherous

Your Current Cultivation Practices

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What's everyone doing these days?

Any new stuff on the spiritual marketplace? Any stuff that isn't talked about often? Any new teachers out there?

Does anyone here not have a practice?

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7 hours ago, Aetherous said:

What's everyone doing these days?

Any new stuff on the spiritual marketplace? Any stuff that isn't talked about often? Any new teachers out there?

Does anyone here not have a practice?

 

How about a slightly different approach?

 

Rather than what practices are we doing, we talk about what specific area we’re working on...

 

Its a different approach that makes the actual practice less important than the aim of the practice. 

 

So rather than ‚ÄėI‚Äôm practicing the 100m sprint‚Äô... (boring)... we‚Äôd¬†have ‚ÄėI‚Äôm working on perfecting the landing of the forefoot on the leading leg - I‚Äôm practicing big toe articulations and strengthening the arch to get the spring-like motion down‚Äô etc...

 

Its not just that details are more interesting...

 

it‚Äôs more a case of getting away from ‚Äėspiritual marketplace‚Äô type ideas where practices promise all sorts of magical effects. And focusing¬†on the more realistic approach of using practices as tools to affect actual internal change.

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13 hours ago, Aetherous said:

What's everyone doing these days?

Any new stuff on the spiritual marketplace? Any stuff that isn't talked about often? Any new teachers out there?

Does anyone here not have a practice?

At the moment I'm recovering from hernia surgery, and so the physical parts of my practice regime are postponed for a few weeks until I'm healed. This has allowed me to work more on meditation and contemplation, as well as catching up on my reading.

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7 hours ago, freeform said:

Rather than what practices are we doing, we talk about what specific area we’re working on...

 

We can talk about that, too.

 

I made this thread because I have a feeling (just a feeling, nothing to back it up) that many new members here don't have a practice.

Learning from teachers in the spiritual marketplace (or outside of it), gaining some experiences, exploring what systems and ideas are out there, having discipline to maintain a daily regimen...everyone should be doing these things.

In addition to saying what we do, we can add what we're hoping to accomplish with it, like you suggested. Or however people want to answer the thread.

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As for myself...

There is some private instruction which is solely for spiritual development; I've stuck with it daily since 2012, because the results are obvious and the philosophy behind it makes sense. I could be a better student/practitioner, but I'm not the worst.

 

Learned Kunlun back in the day (took the old facilitator course, prior to it being an apprentice course...and didn't attend the yearly continuing education to maintain my name on their site), and still sometimes do various practices from that, mostly the Kunlun Method. I find it fascinating and mysterious. One of the most powerful things out there. And I have nostalgia about the trainings I attended, as well as sharing it with a couple of other people.

 

I'm very undisciplined with the Tara's Triple Excellence online program, but I apply some of the teachings from time to time. It has helped me turn enemies into dear friends. I only got to part way through the Second Excellence course...but it is super helpful for understanding Tibetan Buddhism, especially on an experiential level. When my life is slightly less busy, I plan on progressing further in the program, even though it's not my primary practice. An opportunity hasn't arisen for me to attend the lineage's Tara empowerments or teachings in person, but I think doing so would be important when getting to the Third Excellence, which has the vajrayana and dzogchen stuff.

 

And finally, there are things that I incorporate into any path in order to make it work better. A couple of the best things in my experience: short periods (like five minutes) of calm abiding meditation using things in nature as the objects of meditation truly makes the mind function in a healthier way, and eating lighter/chewing food until liquified (because having bogged down digestion is a major problem when doing spiritual or energetic practices). Also, I think that simply exercising in a moderate way on most days is essential...an example of "moderate" would be doing a medium difficulty hike through forest trails for an hour or two. In terms of "semen retention", I have found through my experience that it's important to some extent...I think a simple rule of thumb is to divide our age by 10, and that gives us the number of days it would be best to wait in between. There are probably lots of other little tricks I add into my cultivation, but they're not coming to mind right now.

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30 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

I made this thread because I have a feeling (just a feeling, nothing to back it up) that many new members here don't have a practice.

 

Ahh! I see. I misunderstood the main premise then :)

 

I think maybe it would be useful for such members to know what to look for in a practice...

 

My suggestion tends to always be to find the right teacher. The practice itself really doesn’t matter too much.

 

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18 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

Learned Kunlun back in the day

 

I also trained with Max quite extensively many years ago :)

 

Kunlun is a very unusual system I must say. It certainly made me realise that these practices are real and not ‚Äėsubtle‚Äô.

 

I did move away from the practice for various reasons and am working on a more traditional route of cultivation. My primary teachers are from the Longmen lineage. I also currently have one meditation teacher from the Buddhist system.

 

My practice is quite full on at the moment. I do Qi Gong/ Nei Gong - moving and standing. I do Dao Yin and I do sitting practice daily. I practice generally between 2 and 4hrs daily

 

I'm currently focusing on my shoulders and kwa in particular. My shoulders have changed considerably over the years - but there’s plenty of work still to do. I’m trying to release my scapulas down my back in all my moving forms and to Sung any tightness.

 

My body has been connecting and is going through another stage of ‚Äėknitting together‚Äô - it means that if I press my foot in a particular way, my arm moves up in a particular way automatically.

 

But with this connection, I‚Äôve been noticing certain issues - where the insides are blocked or ‚Äėskewed‚Äô in some way. And that‚Äôs¬†mostly in the shoulders and kwa - which is common for most people... another common blocked area is the spine, but mine is fine. It means when I drop my weight in standing practice, the weight gets ‚Äėcaught‚Äô and stuck in certain spots (very painful).

 

In sitting practice I work on the breath some days, absorption in the body (Ting) on other days and building the Dantien.

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23 minutes ago, freeform said:

My primary teachers are from the Longmen lineage.

 

Do you want to talk about what was involved with getting into that? Only a few people here at most are involved with legitimate Daoist lineages.

 

23 minutes ago, freeform said:

My practice is quite full on at the moment. I do Qi Gong/ Nei Gong - moving and standing. I do Dao Yin and I do sitting practice daily. I practice generally between 2 and 4hrs daily

 

Impressive. I used to be doing that amount of time each day, then luckily the instruction had it shorten down to 30 mins - 1 hour daily.

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1 minute ago, Aetherous said:

 

Do you want to talk about what was involved with getting into that? Only a few people here at most are involved with legitimate Daoist lineages.

 

 

Yes, I'd be interested if freeform is OK with that. Very fortunate it is indeed to have someone in an authentic Daoist tradition.

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Posted (edited)

1. Kundalini

2. Offerings  

 

Edited by Shadow

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1 hour ago, Aetherous said:

Do you want to talk about what was involved with getting into that?

 

Theres a certain etiquette when it comes to these things. I can’t name names for example...

 

What I can say is that the only way to get into any high level teacher’s circle, you must be introduced.

 

I spent a number of years and most of my savings travelling and meeting teachers. Having trained with Max, I had some degree of what you could¬†call ‚Äėinner seeing‚Äô - coupled with a sensitivity to transmission. So I had a sense of discernment and could quickly leave schools and teachers that had no real skill.

 

Eventually I got into circles of serious cultivators and began being introduced to skilled teachers in authentic lineages. I also had to pass lots of ‚Äėtests‚Äô. I had to show that I was capable of creating the inner transformations they were looking for etc... often I had to do much more than my Asian counterparts¬†:rolleyes:

 

 

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I've added a downward flow sensitivity to my usual sitting.  I try to get in 20- 30 minutes twice a day.  Listen to dharma speeches on various subjects.  Long walks..  Keeping it simple.

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Posted (edited)

Discernment and sensitivity seems to vary greatly with practitioners. Some sense great skill/attainment in certain teachers where other practitioners see things differently for the same ones. Maybe people look for different things and understand different things about spirituality.

 

On a sidenote, if someone here used to be on 'revealtheunseen' forums, it may be nice to hear from you. Feel free to send me a PM..

 

 

Edited by thursday
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Posted (edited)

At some point of life when I was still studying, I had about 100+ different practices which I rotated each day or week or month. I was probably doing everything there was possible to do.

 

The thing is last 2 years, well,  I am only doing meditation. Nothing else.

Are there different ways to meditate? Not really.

 

Edited by GSmaster
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34 minutes ago, thursday said:

Some sense great skill/attainment in certain teachers where other practitioners see things differently for the same ones.

 

Actually at a certain stage the skills and attainments are pretty objective and obvious. 

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Martial arts I'm mainly doing work on the Bagua Power Training DVD from Gerald Sharp as well as the Kenny Gong 5 Exercises as well as some stuff from Dragongate Sanctuary. For healing I'm working on Usui Reiki 3, Kundalini Reiki 1, and some Bon meditations. 

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2 hours ago, freeform said:

 

Actually at a certain stage the skills and attainments are pretty objective and obvious. 

 

Yes, I can see things progressing like that too. In the past I had more doubt than now. I didn't have the sensitivity I have now. However, others may think I'm wrong about my perceptions when they have spent a decade or more with another path(s).

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One hour of hatha yoga after waking up. This has been my daily practice since many years.

 

And before going to sleep, reading a few pages of a spiritual book. That is, when I am not too tired.

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Great thread!

 

My morning practice is a basic stretching routine, Baguazhang practice and sometimes play with my foam roller for posture and keeping the spine loose. 

 

For inner cultivation, its mainly connecting with a few deities, or playing with friends who are into that sort of thing.

 

At night I do like to do some dedicated time... it could be listening to an album on headphones or just sitting quietly. It’s at this time I am able to feel what I’m holding onto from the day, and kind of clear the slate.  It’s important for me to make time for that, especially when working and doing school/studies... it’s easy to get caught up. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/2/2019 at 9:38 PM, Aetherous said:

What's everyone doing these days?

Any new stuff on the spiritual marketplace? Any stuff that isn't talked about often? Any new teachers out there?

Does anyone here not have a practice?

 

My preparatory practice is clearing the  channels and chakras through breath, intent, and body movement. My core practice is resting in the nature of mind.

Edited by steve
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Posted (edited)

I am working my way through the Zhineng Qigong system. I daily practice (usually starting after 11pm) 'Lift Qi Up, Pour Qi Down'. If I'm not too tired I will do '3 Centers Merge' Zhan Zhuang for 20 minutes. On the days I don't lift weights I do 100 wall squats, currently my feet are hip width with toes 2 inches from the wall. I'm learning the movements of the 'Body & Mind' form as time allows. I lift weights twice a week for 1 hour. I have a stretching routine that I do daily that takes about 10 minutes. I'm also slowly working my way through a Usui Reiki course. Reading 'Prior to Consciousness' by Nisargadatta Maharaj.

Edited by escott
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Posted (edited)

Very interesting topic. For my part, I have been doing stretching (and some strenghtening) generic exercises plus xiang gong (fragrant qigong). Now I have changed my routine a little bit, and I am doing less stretching but more standing meditation (zhan zhuang) and wall squats, and also xiang gong. Besides this I try to read something spiritual often to keep me on the right "path". My favourite right now is the Dhammapada, a classical pearl I can only recommend to everybody

Edited by Toni
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First thing I do after waking up is merge with my deities (Lords Shiva and Vishnu). After that, I meditate on prolonged Omkars, leading to stillness and silence, wherein I rest. 

 

In terms of cultivation, my current practice involves daogong and taijiquan at least once a day, for releasing and emptying. Typically the session lasts 30-45 minutes (since past year or so). Or I might do multiple sessions of 15 mins per day at different times.

 

And constantly, abiding in and as Self-nature, or primordial awareness. But it is not a "doing", so can't be called a practice anymore. 

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I find the term , the phrase ‚ÄúCultivation‚ÄĚ very odd and strange, perhaps someone could explain what it is they are cultivating and what they believe it does for them.

 

 

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