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Marcus

Master....what master ?

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There are no masters.....only students and teachers. 
No student, no teacher.
No master, no slave.
An art doesn't have an end, it flows and changes continuously.
Therefor how can there be masters in any art.
This idea just helps to creat a separation between people through hierarchy and has a tendency to creat egotism and servitude.
So much is written about the master student relationship. About how a student should respect  the master, but little about how a master should respect the student. Respect comes from the Latin, Re-again and Spectare-to look at.
In the west we translate the Chinese word Sifu as master. In actual fact it is a combination of the idea of being a father and teacher. As many started their studies as young people away from their parents.
What have these masters perfected, what is their mastery over ?
A mastery of a system of movements or is it a mastery over themselves and their ego?
To what end are they striving for this perfection ? 
Where are these true masters ? With their magical powers that so many are trying to emulate.
Look around you, something is very wrong with our world. Ruled and enslaved, with the threat of violence, by the most insane amongst us.
Are these enlightened masters sitting in mountain caves sipping spring water praying for our souls or are they sitting in the internet making coin from selling the idea of spirit.
Where are these masters of perfection in our time of need, to lead us by example ?
Nowhere, by the looks of it. Do they even exist ? Which one of you has met one who has mastered the self?
They should be out in the public forum inspiring us and embarrassing those vile reprobates that rule over us through fear of violence.
But they are nowhere to be seen or heard. 
If they exist and have the magical powers of insight, then they are surely cowards or uncaring fools for not coming forward.
The longest living, kindest, most selfless and happiest people are not found in temples, wearing special robes, but out on the streets with the rest of us mortals. Their lives are long because they are simple, happy and uncomplicated. Not because they are yogis, praying to an imaginary god and twisting themselves into esoteric knots. 
Taoism used to be about living in and studying the way of nature, before it was made into a religion, now look at it. A shamefully complicated and often egotistical shell of its former self. Locked up and sold to the highest bidder by master gatekeepers. Given piecemeal to those that pay their dues in time or money. This, we are told, is to preserve the Tao. Who are they to make this decision for anyone. The Tao gives freely of itself and old men lock it up in  power structures and religion for vanity and personal gain.
All the internet masters are hurriedly selling themselves for worldly gain. Mitchell, Metzner, Frantzis, Johnson, Chia, Yang et all. Thousands of dollars for giving a days lecture and a chance to sell their books and t shirts in the foyer on your way out. Unending pictures of themselves on their websites. Videos of their ability to put a bigger man on the ground. What exactly have they mastered, not their ego obviously.
If you want money then get a job and give the spirit freely, if you love the Tao so much.
It will always provide you with your next meal and a place to rest your head.
If you have to travel the world selling the Tao, then you have lost the way and have no faith in the Tao.
The path they walk is incorrect. Let the Tao provide for you.
If this is spirituality in the modern era. Where did we go so very wrong ? 
These people should fall to their knees in deep and quiet shame for what they are doing.
Driving to their Qi gong class in their raybans, picking up a latte at starbucks on the way. Wearing priest clothes and a topknot after a years stint in Wudang. A few well placed taoist tattoos on their forearms for the world to see. Now you can call yourself Master or Laoshi and get the respect you know you rightfully deserve. Paying for their tuition fees over and again into their old age, never giving freely. Holding onto their hard won secret knowledge and Chinese name for dear life.
Don't let go or you'll loose control and what you wrongfully think is your self.
These masters could give all of their knowledge freely over the internet in a concise and systematic way, like a university course and make a good living by donation, if they chose to. Instead its unconnected bits and pieces, enough for advertising purposes, unless you hand over your hard earned money.
This information does not belong to them and is owned by nobody to be kept, unless sold.
Why do priest and monks wear uniforms ? Often delineating their rank and status. The further up the chain of command the finer the cloth and the more beads and the higher they place themselves above the ordinary person. 
Are we not all in this together. 
Masters make slaves.
Taoism is about being a part of nature and contemplating our place in it. Not as a casual observer but as a necessary and valid part of it. 
When one lives in nature every part of ones life revolves around it. You don't need to study yinyang or the five elements in a book delivered to you by robot from amazon. You see it as day turns to night and in the changes of the seasons. The Tao is not an esoteric concept, it is  life unfolding before you. Meditation not something you set an hour a day away for, it is going about your day peacefully without concern for the passing of time or the acquisition of magical cognitive states. Every living thing is your teacher and there are no masters.....and everything worth having is free.
The reason we read and write in books and give seminars is because we arent living it. When you live in and are a part of nature you don't need words to explain what is going on around you. You just know, its in front of you. The opening lines of the tao te ching explain this clearly for that reason. But we sit around discussing such things instead.
Living and being a beautiful and valid part of nature is being a Taoist. No need for books, temples, priests and bowing to golden gods. 
The birds will tell you when its time for qi gong, morning and evening. The rain gives you a day off from work. Your harvest, your time for commerce. 
Keep your feet in the soil, your back to the sun and your mind empty, happy and peaceful. Then the world unfolds before you. You can see into the future because your mind is free and open. 
Learn to be a good human before you rush off to be with your saints and gods. Going inside oneself with honesty and humility is far harder than any nei gong. Master your human self first. Or why else would we be born as flesh and blood.
How can anyone find truth unless we go inside first to confront and remove the false self.
Instead, we avoid authentic investigation into the darker aspects of ourselves. We want to see reality but not ourselves as we really are. So we immerse ourselves in some esoteric practice with some master to gratify our false self and neglect the primary work. Then we can call ourselves a Taoist master and hold on to the knowledge in exchange for respect and money. 
As the Oracle of Delphi stated, know thyself and you will know the universe and the gods.
Why are there so many different esoteric system ? Is one right and all the rest wrong or are they all right ? Why are they all so convoluted and difficult to discern ?
 In the west, especially, we think things have to be complicated to have worth. 
...the Tao is not complicated, just stop seeing one thing against another. Then yinyang dissolves to reveal the Tao.
Why are we supposed to reverse creation to become part of the Tao. We already are. So many complicated rituals and imaginations that creat themselves only through repetition of belief. 
First we learn, then we forget. Forgetting is the key.
The Tao is not on the internet or hiding in your smartphones, televisions or books. Wisdom is not found in schools or universities or even in most temples. Just distractions from the truth that you already are living the Tao. All the processes you seek are already functioning within you. All you need do is stop trying, be peaceful and listen gently.  Wake up with the birds, stretch like a cat and rest like a turtle. Be kind and gentle with those around you and give freely of yourself.
Be open and honest with yourself and others.
Be human.
Perfection is not the absence of mistakes or wrong doings, it is about not making those same mistakes twice.
There are not seven billion people on this planet. Just one having seven billion experiences.
We are all one.
There is only love or fear.
Holding on is fear.
Letting go is love.
Choose love.
We should pull our resources and work as one for the benefit of all, freely. Not divide and separate through the creation of hierarchy for the benefit of one.
This information should be given openly and freely. Disseminated logically and systematically to produce as many teachers as we can for the benefit of all in, this rather messed up world. 
No master....no slave.
Isn't it.

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4 hours ago, Marcus said:

There are no masters.....only students and teachers. 
No student, no teacher.
No master, no slave.
An art doesn't have an end, it flows and changes continuously.
Therefor how can there be masters in any art.
This idea just helps to creat a separation between people through hierarchy and has a tendency to creat egotism and servitude.
So much is written about the master student relationship. About how a student should respect  the master, but little about how a master should respect the student. Respect comes from the Latin, Re-again and Spectare-to look at.
In the west we translate the Chinese word Sifu as master. In actual fact it is a combination of the idea of being a father and teacher. As many started their studies as young people away from their parents.
What have these masters perfected, what is their mastery over ?
A mastery of a system of movements or is it a mastery over themselves and their ego?
To what end are they striving for this perfection ? 
Where are these true masters ? With their magical powers that so many are trying to emulate.
Look around you, something is very wrong with our world. Ruled and enslaved, with the threat of violence, by the most insane amongst us.
Are these enlightened masters sitting in mountain caves sipping spring water praying for our souls or are they sitting in the internet making coin from selling the idea of spirit.
Where are these masters of perfection in our time of need, to lead us by example ?
Nowhere, by the looks of it. Do they even exist ? Which one of you has met one who has mastered the self?
They should be out in the public forum inspiring us and embarrassing those vile reprobates that rule over us through fear of violence.
But they are nowhere to be seen or heard. 
If they exist and have the magical powers of insight, then they are surely cowards or uncaring fools for not coming forward.
The longest living, kindest, most selfless and happiest people are not found in temples, wearing special robes, but out on the streets with the rest of us mortals. Their lives are long because they are simple, happy and uncomplicated. Not because they are yogis, praying to an imaginary god and twisting themselves into esoteric knots. 
Taoism used to be about living in and studying the way of nature, before it was made into a religion, now look at it. A shamefully complicated and often egotistical shell of its former self. Locked up and sold to the highest bidder by master gatekeepers. Given piecemeal to those that pay their dues in time or money. This, we are told, is to preserve the Tao. Who are they to make this decision for anyone. The Tao gives freely of itself and old men lock it up in  power structures and religion for vanity and personal gain.
All the internet masters are hurriedly selling themselves for worldly gain. Mitchell, Metzner, Frantzis, Johnson, Chia, Yang et all. Thousands of dollars for giving a days lecture and a chance to sell their books and t shirts in the foyer on your way out. Unending pictures of themselves on their websites. Videos of their ability to put a bigger man on the ground. What exactly have they mastered, not their ego obviously.
If you want money then get a job and give the spirit freely, if you love the Tao so much.
It will always provide you with your next meal and a place to rest your head.
If you have to travel the world selling the Tao, then you have lost the way and have no faith in the Tao.
The path they walk is incorrect. Let the Tao provide for you.
If this is spirituality in the modern era. Where did we go so very wrong ? 
These people should fall to their knees in deep and quiet shame for what they are doing.
Driving to their Qi gong class in their raybans, picking up a latte at starbucks on the way. Wearing priest clothes and a topknot after a years stint in Wudang. A few well placed taoist tattoos on their forearms for the world to see. Now you can call yourself Master or Laoshi and get the respect you know you rightfully deserve. Paying for their tuition fees over and again into their old age, never giving freely. Holding onto their hard won secret knowledge and Chinese name for dear life.
Don't let go or you'll loose control and what you wrongfully think is your self.
These masters could give all of their knowledge freely over the internet in a concise and systematic way, like a university course and make a good living by donation, if they chose to. Instead its unconnected bits and pieces, enough for advertising purposes, unless you hand over your hard earned money.
This information does not belong to them and is owned by nobody to be kept, unless sold.
Why do priest and monks wear uniforms ? Often delineating their rank and status. The further up the chain of command the finer the cloth and the more beads and the higher they place themselves above the ordinary person. 
Are we not all in this together. 
Masters make slaves.
Taoism is about being a part of nature and contemplating our place in it. Not as a casual observer but as a necessary and valid part of it. 
When one lives in nature every part of ones life revolves around it. You don't need to study yinyang or the five elements in a book delivered to you by robot from amazon. You see it as day turns to night and in the changes of the seasons. The Tao is not an esoteric concept, it is  life unfolding before you. Meditation not something you set an hour a day away for, it is going about your day peacefully without concern for the passing of time or the acquisition of magical cognitive states. Every living thing is your teacher and there are no masters.....and everything worth having is free.
The reason we read and write in books and give seminars is because we arent living it. When you live in and are a part of nature you don't need words to explain what is going on around you. You just know, its in front of you. The opening lines of the tao te ching explain this clearly for that reason. But we sit around discussing such things instead.
Living and being a beautiful and valid part of nature is being a Taoist. No need for books, temples, priests and bowing to golden gods. 
The birds will tell you when its time for qi gong, morning and evening. The rain gives you a day off from work. Your harvest, your time for commerce. 
Keep your feet in the soil, your back to the sun and your mind empty, happy and peaceful. Then the world unfolds before you. You can see into the future because your mind is free and open. 
Learn to be a good human before you rush off to be with your saints and gods. Going inside oneself with honesty and humility is far harder than any nei gong. Master your human self first. Or why else would we be born as flesh and blood.
How can anyone find truth unless we go inside first to confront and remove the false self.
Instead, we avoid authentic investigation into the darker aspects of ourselves. We want to see reality but not ourselves as we really are. So we immerse ourselves in some esoteric practice with some master to gratify our false self and neglect the primary work. Then we can call ourselves a Taoist master and hold on to the knowledge in exchange for respect and money. 
As the Oracle of Delphi stated, know thyself and you will know the universe and the gods.
Why are there so many different esoteric system ? Is one right and all the rest wrong or are they all right ? Why are they all so convoluted and difficult to discern ?
 In the west, especially, we think things have to be complicated to have worth. 
...the Tao is not complicated, just stop seeing one thing against another. Then yinyang dissolves to reveal the Tao.
Why are we supposed to reverse creation to become part of the Tao. We already are. So many complicated rituals and imaginations that creat themselves only through repetition of belief. 
First we learn, then we forget. Forgetting is the key.
The Tao is not on the internet or hiding in your smartphones, televisions or books. Wisdom is not found in schools or universities or even in most temples. Just distractions from the truth that you already are living the Tao. All the processes you seek are already functioning within you. All you need do is stop trying, be peaceful and listen gently.  Wake up with the birds, stretch like a cat and rest like a turtle. Be kind and gentle with those around you and give freely of yourself.
Be open and honest with yourself and others.
Be human.
Perfection is not the absence of mistakes or wrong doings, it is about not making those same mistakes twice.
There are not seven billion people on this planet. Just one having seven billion experiences.
We are all one.
There is only love or fear.
Holding on is fear.
Letting go is love.
Choose love.
We should pull our resources and work as one for the benefit of all, freely. Not divide and separate through the creation of hierarchy for the benefit of one.
This information should be given openly and freely. Disseminated logically and systematically to produce as many teachers as we can for the benefit of all in, this rather messed up world. 
No master....no slave.
Isn't it.

From one praying mantis to another, you make some good points but you don't get the whole picture.

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I’ve met a few masters of self these last decades and you know what the funny thing was? At least most of them where just themselves and both rejoiced in the good of thing and shook their head in disbelief at the cruelty of men.

 

I have a good friend of mine who often reminds me of Ibd Fadhlan, he’s a warrior scholar of south persian descent who tries to maintain his composure among the vikings of Thule. Sometimes he talks about the hidden war where humanity is being herded into stepping away from the sagely ways and paths, our nature perverted and our hearts twisted and made jealous.

I often remind him pf when Moses, prophet of the lord and exhaulted in his wisdom, got a chance to hang out with Khidr but blew it because he was too quick to judge, which impeded his heart from truly hearing what was happening.

 

I think you’d like it.

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Sounds nice, but one can never be sure of anything on this planet.

Best is to try everything, masters or non-masters, teaching or being without teaching, the white and the black.  Only after trying many things will you know more.

And of course there are many charlatans, perhaps there are only charlatans ... but of different grades.  When you are truly helped or truly help ... such experiences change your perspective.

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Fair post. I must emphasise that to call (genuinely) Shifu/Master out of respect is no problem, to a renowned master of his or her craft. Correct, they are teachers, but they will have other teachers under them, so for a human realm, the labels themselves are useful still for us to differentiate levels of experience.

 

Yet a good Shifu is modest, fatherly/motherly, understanding, nurturing and also tough. Because they want to ensure you learn correctly!

 

Without them, the teachings of the Dao will be lost.

 

But a great sage will always lead from the back.

 

I admit, the works of Frantzis have been useful to me in their own right. Profits and so forth are none of my business, but I have gained some good techniques and understanding from his writings. He, and others, are bridges between eastern and western teaching. But I would also tell you that the distance between him a true master is a country mile.

 

You are right to post this though. One must be very careful who they go to for instruction because the easiest trap to fall into is to follow the one with the biggest gob, shining pretty lights and throwing their cloak around.

 

Ah, advertising. Gotta love it.

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I understand the wariness about teachers charging for spiritual teachings. This relates to something the Christian church calls "simony"- charging money for ordinations, sacraments, teachings.

 

Some things to keep in mind, though- in the "old world", ie China or connected areas, a monastery or temple usually has a certain amount of social infrastructure, that is, a recognized place in the surrounding society, devotees, history, allowing it to rely on donations from many sources or sometimes even government subsidies. In those contexts it is relatively easy for teaching to be given free of charge or on a sliding scale.

 

A Taoist teacher in the West is generally not going to have this kind of infrastructure. Absent some generous donors or a solidly supportive Chinese diaspora community it might be hard to pay the bills while offering free training for long amounts of time. I am not saying this to justify charging exorbitant fees for lessons, books, etc- there is plenty of room for criticism there. But I also don't think we should  be too harsh.

 

That said there is no way I'm scrounging up $400 to get remotely ordained by that Tin Yat guy.

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1 minute ago, SirPalomides said:

I understand the wariness about teachers charging for spiritual teachings. This relates to something the Christian church calls "simony"- charging money for ordinations, sacraments, teachings.

 

Some things to keep in mind, though- in the "old world", ie China or connected areas, a monastery or temple usually has a certain amount of social infrastructure, that is, a recognized place in the surrounding society, devotees, history, allowing it to rely on donations from many sources or sometimes even government subsidies. In those contexts it is relatively easy for teaching to be given free of charge or on a sliding scale.

 

A Taoist teacher in the West is generally not going to have this kind of infrastructure. Absent some generous donors or a solidly supportive Chinese diaspora community it might be hard to pay the bills while offering free training for long amounts of time. I am not saying this to justify charging exorbitant fees for lessons, books, etc- there is plenty of room for criticism there. But I also don't think we should  be too harsh.

 

That said there is no way I'm scrounging up $400 to get remotely ordained by that Tin Yat guy.

 

Tin Yat is a false comparison to people who actually have skill, wisdom, tradition, and something worth teaching. I believe a master can charge whatever they want because it's not just the prestige of that knowledge and skill that will transform your lives, it's the fact they need to babysit people who just want power. And people who want power or skill for free are kidding themselves. 

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4 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

 

Tin Yat is a false comparison to people who actually have skill, wisdom, tradition, and something worth teaching.

 

 

True and my addendum there was meant in half jest. Though he does seem to have acquired some solid information albeit second or third hand.

 

4 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

I believe a master can charge whatever they want because it's not just the prestige of that knowledge and skill that will transform your lives, it's the fact they need to babysit people who just want power. And people who want power or skill for free are kidding themselves. 

 

If the problem is power-hungry or idly curious people, then reserve the exorbitant fees for them and don't punish everyone else. Or turn them away. Or give them very simple teachings until they learn humility or go elsewhere.

 

The worst option is to feed the delusion that you can gain power by shelling out lots of cash.

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12 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

The worst option is to feed the delusion that you can gain power by shelling out lots of cash.

 

Absolutely. I've had people offer one of my masters not just 3x what they normally charge, but to fly them to China each week to train them because the level of skill he has for Xin Yi no longer exists in China for the public to find (arguably may not even exist anymore...).

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5 hours ago, SirPalomides said:

 

That said there is no way I'm scrounging up $400 to get remotely ordained by that Tin Yat guy.

 

ROFL

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On 2019-12-04 at 4:42 PM, SirPalomides said:

Though he does seem to have acquired some solid information albeit second or third hand.

 

 

Thats his greatest effort in learning his greatest skill: to appear as if his material is legit. I can say with emphasis that at least his kung fu and martial arts are complete hogwash. And they’re easy to gain proficiency in compared to being a daoist expert in those high level arts he teaches. He really makes me want to pinch his nose and tell him to grow up.

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Right there’s nothing he has to offer that can’t be learned elsewhere, more accurately, and without paying ridiculous amounts of money. And if, as he says, he was initiated by some direct theophany it seems that anyone can.

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4 hours ago, SirPalomides said:

Right there’s nothing he has to offer that can’t be learned elsewhere, more accurately, and without paying ridiculous amounts of money. And if, as he says, he was initiated by some direct theophany it seems that anyone can.

 

Tin Yat is someone whose "system" I will go out on a limb to say that it is more dangerous to study with him than it is to make up your own nonsense from the misinformation out there that people get from YouTube videos and books or DVDs by popular teachers whose names I will not mention here. 

 

I should also mention that one of his own pathetic attempts to describe demons in Buddhism was laughable. For starters, he believes Buddhism is demonic and especially attacks Tibetan Buddhism, but also fails to understand that there are many sects of Buddhism, not even realizing Pure Land, Vajrayana, and Theravada are all different. Guess whose picture he posted as a demonic entity?

 

Akuma/Gouki, a character from Street Fighter. It's like he's not even trying...

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On 12/4/2019 at 5:42 PM, SirPalomides said:

If the problem is power-hungry or idly curious people, then reserve the exorbitant fees for them and don't punish everyone else. Or turn them away. Or give them very simple teachings until they learn humility or go elsewhere.

IMHO it is far harder to find a teacher both knowledgeable, capable and willing to teach the esoteric, internal stuff than pay him.

There is a case of student of a master studying for 16 whole years and the master never taught him the internal stuff for whatever reason.

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Theophany isn’t uncommon in daoist arts origin and legends and whatever one might think about it its fairly safe to say that at least in the ordained orthodox officiancy  lots and lots upon lots more hours go into training, studying and developing the skills and knowledge required, divine source or not.

 

I don’t know the guy and cant say if his theophany is a convenient device to duck claims of wrongful teaching while also being a pretty nifty sales pitch or if it actually took place and he was blessed with such powers as he says.

Say its true, what might his divine patron and fountainhead of knowledge think about his public demeanor, evident skill-level and attitude? 

I’d be pretty nervous about botching or making my divine power and art appear as lacking in the eyes of that divinity i have such a close bond with.

 

To each their own, i certainly hope he is right and correct in all things for his sake and his students at least. What do i know anyway?

Edited by Rocky Lionmouth
Nuances
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