Old Student

Dantian and Bones - How should it be drawn?

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3 hours ago, freeform said:

PS. Don’t visualise the Dantien :)

 

This is good advice.  I have been able to visualize everything else but thought I had a block on doing this.  Maybe it wasn't meant to be done.

 

3 hours ago, freeform said:

PPS. Find your Qi Hai point, put finger there... find your perineum (don’t put finger there - not in public anyway) - but give it a little squeeze and mentally trace a line up to the level of Qi Hai. That’s where your LDT (in most systems) is.

 

This is the point where my pulse descends to when I sink it, I can find this.  This is where I've been focusing.

 

3 hours ago, freeform said:

PPPS. Learn to stand in wuji. Learn to sink your mind to that area. Learn to move your centre of gravity there. Learn to breathe there. When all these come together correctly (might take quite a bit of practice), you’ll feel a physical tug or a pull in your LDT. It’s unmistakeable :)

 

I stand, but not in wuji, somewhat similar but with arms up, seven circles.  I can move my center of gravity there.  I can sink there. I can breathe there. 

 

Does the tug come every time or just a "first" time? 

 

I kept my mind there daily for about 23 years, and got meditation sickness.  The workaround was to follow my breath so I am just starting into (5 months now) putting my mind there again, and am concerned about getting things right, so I was expecting heat. If the tug is every time I'll wait for it, if it's one time, it's quite possible it's a long time ago.

3 hours ago, freeform said:

There’s a lot of preliminary stuff to be done before you’ll have any proper (transformative) heat there.

 

You can’t get there without building the foundations really.

Good advice, too.

 

Thank you.

 

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6 hours ago, Old Student said:

I am just starting into (5 months now) putting my mind there again, and am concerned about getting things right

 

There’s a subtlety that’s important.

 

You must sink your mind - not focus, direct or ‘put’. Using a strong focus or intention will again cause you issues.

 

I suggest learning the wuji posture... other standing postures are aimed at doing something in particular - wuji is the fundamental posture of balance and harmony. Damo Mitchell has an online video course explaining how to get into wuji. It’s very good.

 

Once you have wuji down (will take a few months usually) you’ll be able to relax into it and then learn to sink your mind.

 

The important bit is that the mind will sink by itself once it’s relatively still and relaxed. So you first notice where you mind is (usually head, sometimes heart) and then just let go of thoughts, stop it wondering and just relax and notice how it sinks down through your body by itself.

 

What usually happens is that you’ll feel a slight sinking, get overly ambitious and start focusing or directing the mind down (which immediately raises it to your head). So it will take some time of correcting yourself. Especially if this is what you’ve been training before.

 

Every thought or mental movement will raise it up again. It’s used to being up, it wants to be up and the only way to let it sink is by relaxing and stilling it.

 

It’s like the proverbial glass of muddy water - you have to leave it undisturbed and the mud will sink and settle of its own accord. Any attempt to speed it up, or any other movement will stir up the mud again.

 

(The wuji posture is also key in letting your mind sink... and your Qi sink too.)

 

Regarding the tug. It’ll be a subtle tug or pull at first, later it’ll develop into something else.

 

But it’s not too important actually.

 

The most important bit at first is really correct posture, Sung (release) through your body and a sinking mind. You don’t even have to feel your Dantien for it to become active as a result of these.

 

Hope that helps :)

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It does help, thank you.

12 hours ago, freeform said:

I suggest learning the wuji posture... other standing postures are aimed at doing something in particular - wuji is the fundamental posture of balance and harmony. Damo Mitchell has an online video course explaining how to get into wuji. It’s very good.

 

Once you have wuji down (will take a few months usually) you’ll be able to relax into it and then learn to sink your mind.

I'm very familiar with the posture, and can relax into it and fa sung.  So I guess it's to learn to sink my mind, which this:

 

12 hours ago, freeform said:

There’s a subtlety that’s important.

 

You must sink your mind - not focus, direct or ‘put’. Using a strong focus or intention will again cause you issues.

is very instructive.  By not focusing or directing, I'm assuming I'm using to much yi ?  My usual way of "turning that off" is to remind myself when I start using it that, "I don't know how to do this, I need to stop knowing how to do this," before relaxing my thoughts.  I will try this. Thank you, and thank you for the dantian position behind the qihai.

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The more I practice, the lower my dan tien seems. 

 

I wanted to ask is there any advantage/disadvantage between having the lower dan tien be large or small?  Or should we put our attention there and let our experience be our guide. 

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7 hours ago, thelerner said:

I wanted to ask is there any advantage/disadvantage between having the lower dan tien be large or small?  Or should we put our attention there and let our experience be our guide. 

 

Depends on the purpose to be honest.

 

For the purposes of sinking your mind, you can be quite general and diffuse. Just allowing mind to sink to the lower abdominal cavity is good.

 

Later on, being more specific is helpful.

 

For example with reverse breathing - it’s helpful to have a reasonably exact point... 

 

It’s size is already ‘there’ so you don’t need to create it.

 

At first the borders will be indistinct and hazy - it’ll just feel like a general gradual concentration of density - no distinct ‘walls’ or separation.

 

Later on, with consistent Dantien Gong practice it forms into a distinct sphere and eventually becomes physical. :)

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10 hours ago, Old Student said:

I'm assuming I'm using to much yi ?  My usual way of "turning that off" is to remind myself when I start using it that, "I don't know how to do this, I need to stop knowing how to do this," before relaxing my thoughts.

 

Yes exactly - no need for Yi. The quality of awareness you’re looking for is Ting - or listening - it’s very passive...

 

it’s like laying back, relaxing in a garden and listening to the sounds around you - the fluttering of leaves in the wind, birds chirping, distant sounds of life...

 

All these things come to you - you don’t need to use focus to ‘look for’ them.

 

That’s the quality of awareness we want. 

 

And when left undisturbed it’ll sink down through your body and diffusely collect at the lower abdomen (don’t be too exact).

 

Just breathe and ‘listen’ and if your awareness scatters or ascends or starts to focus too intently (it will), just repeat the process.

 

You can do this sitting too. Might be easier at first.

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7 hours ago, freeform said:

The quality of awareness you’re looking for is Ting - or listening - it’s very passive..

It's the mind used for pushing hands. But it usually makes my breath die away.

 

7 hours ago, freeform said:

You can do this sitting too. Might be easier at first.

No, for me, standing is easier than sitting, if the time period exceeds 1/2 hour.

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1 hour ago, Old Student said:

It's the mind used for pushing hands. But it usually makes my breath die away.

 

Yeah that's right.

 

Ting is a lot more important than breath actually - so it’s best to focus on the quality of Ting first.

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1 hour ago, Old Student said:

No, for me, standing is easier than sitting, if the time period exceeds 1/2 hour

 

Even better :)

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6 hours ago, freeform said:

Ting is a lot more important than breath actually - so it’s best to focus on the quality of Ting first.

This is going to be hard.  Okay, I have a challenge to focus on Ting and try to let my breath be.

Thank you.

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23 hours ago, thelerner said:

The more I practice, the lower my dan tien seems. 

Since we both are looking to understand this, I just found this on Damo Mitchell's Scholar Sage site, it is informative.

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On 5/8/2019 at 3:30 PM, freeform said:

 

There’s a lot of preliminary stuff to be done before you’ll have any proper (transformative) heat there.

 

You can’t get there without building the foundations really.

 

Can you say a little more about this?  

 

I've noticed quite frequently that I get very warm to the point I perspire (notably so during sitting practice) during practice.  Yet I've not had a very concentrated or distinct sensation of warmth.  Curious I wonder how the general heat and sweating might possibly be different from what you mention as a "transformative" heat, as far as stages and development goes.  

 

 

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6 hours ago, qofq said:

I wonder how the general heat and sweating might possibly be different from what you mention as a "transformative" heat

 

Apologies - I was quite imprecise with ‘transformative heat’. What I mean is the heat created for and by alchemical processes.

 

Old Student posted above an article about the Ding and Lu (cauldron and furnace)... it does a much better job explaining things than I could do here.

 

6 hours ago, qofq said:

I've noticed quite frequently that I get very warm to the point I perspire (notably so during sitting practice) during practice.

 

Bearing in mind that I don’t know the details of your practice... but what it sounds like to me is that you’re opening meridians - the heat is created by the resistance in your channels.

 

So it’s a good sign. It’s just not at the level of alchemical practice yet - which feels literally like having a bowl of hot bubbling liquid in your abdomen. This requires specific set of practices to get going, and lots of foundational qualities to be in place already.

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Is that tugging in the same place where the mind is when the mind passes through the dantian, or is it perhaps elsewhere? Like elsewhere in the abdomen?

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11 hours ago, Old Student said:

Is that tugging in the same place where the mind is when the mind passes through the dantian, or is it perhaps elsewhere? Like elsewhere in the abdomen?

 

You’ll get tugging elsewhere in the abdomen too. That’s a sign that your mind is engaging the tissues. 

 

Keep releasing, don’t ‘look for’ sensations or the location of your Dantien, just rest your diffuse awareness and settle in your lower abdomen - then things will happen of their own accord.

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On 5/16/2019 at 9:43 AM, freeform said:

then things will happen of their own accord.

freeform, you seem to know Damo Mitchell's work fairly well.  In White Moon on the Mountain Peak (p.158), and also in the article on Ding and Lu I cited above, he has a symbolic picture of them.  It must come from Lu Daochun's Zhonghe ji (Compilation on the Middle Harmony), which is also from whence his term "firing process" comes.  But this is the "An Lu", and this is the "Li Ding" in that book, and the trigrams above them are the reverse of Mitchell's.

 

Any insight on why he switches them up?

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On 23/05/2019 at 10:38 PM, Old Student said:

the trigrams above them are the reverse of Mitchell's.

 

Any insight on why he switches them up?

 

I’m really not sure to be honest. I don’t practice alchemy at the moment and I haven’t gone through Damo’s book on it very thoroughly...

 

Off the top of my head, an important thing to consider is context... sometimes my teachers will represent qualities required in the body with trigrams... but the qualities will change depending on the level we are practicing at. Does that make sense?

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27 minutes ago, freeform said:

Does that make sense?

Not really for this.  A more mundane guess is that Damo thought that the three threads from the flame in the Lu were the legs of a tripod cauldron.  But it is a picture of a flame, in another chart the same shape is a picture of "fire".

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On 5/16/2019 at 9:43 AM, freeform said:

Keep releasing, don’t ‘look for’ sensations or the location of your Dantien, just rest your diffuse awareness and settle in your lower abdomen - then things will happen of their own accord.

It's intermittent (as in not every time) but I'm getting warmth now, a lot of it.  Thank you for your help.

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