Taomeow

Opening the Dragon Gate of the Antarctic

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6 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

I'm pretty sure it would be impossible for me to maintain any concentration with a penguin poking around my camp.

 

Penguins might be a bit challenging.  I did practice with stray cats, squirrels, rabbits and the like.  Even a rattlesnake at one point.  The rattlesnake was the easiest to ignore -- I didn't even know it was there until I was done.  

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28 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

I recognize those faces!

wow... talk about dedication.

 

Gives you a warm fuzzy, right? :D 

 

Metaphors aside, I always feel a warm fuzzy when looking at the teacher's face because that's how my first encounter went quite literally.  I arrived at the Moscow seminar so catastrophically jetlagged that the first thing I did was to fall asleep on the cement floor of the Antarctic cold unheated Sokol'niki gym as soon as I sat down to meditate.  When I woke up, quite mortified but unexpectedly warm, I found I was covered with the teacher's warm fuzzy jacket.  :) 

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I love that story!

 

And as I see it, you didn't miss a sit, you gained a sleeping meditation. :D

and at the start of the retreat...  those sleeping meditations, couple of them...

 

utterly paradigm shattering.

 

Intrigued to see when my path leads to another meeting with him.

 

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OMG.  I just got back from Fairbanks AK and had to sit in a yurt at 35 below for 4 hours to see the northern lights.  I wish I had thought to turn it into a meditation and get through it that way.  That's the coldest I've ever been in my life.  I was pretty sure my toes were goners, but they came back to life in warm water.  That's painful, thawing your feet in warm water.

 

Wish you'd started this thread a week ago  :o

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29 minutes ago, manitou said:

OMG.  I just got back from Fairbanks AK and had to sit in a yurt at 35 below for 4 hours to see the northern lights.  I wish I had thought to turn it into a meditation and get through it that way.  That's the coldest I've ever been in my life.  I was pretty sure my toes were goners, but they came back to life in warm water.  That's painful, thawing your feet in warm water.

 

Wish you'd started this thread a week ago  :o

 

Wow!  Did you see the lights though?  Or were you too cold to pay attention by the time they showed up? :) 

 

You should have talked about keeping warm to someone who wound up in California but started out in Siberia, and not just about meditation -- I'd tell you about 100% wool socks, boots with sheep wool lining big enough to accommodate two pairs of those socks  without impairing circulation and with room to wiggle your toes, and if they do get cold, thawing them afterwards with vigorous rubbing and dry heat rather than warm water (a lot less painful), and about wool underwear and a scarf to cover half your face to warm up your nose with your own breath, and many other intricacies of thorough insulation and dryness, the solution to the extreme cold problem.  The coldest I've ever been in my life was in Los Angeles in June, when I was stuck outdoors for an hour on an unexpectedly cold and windy day -- I think it was 50 above -- dressed in the usual SoCal close-to-nothing.  I honestly didn't expect to survive, even though I've known 95 below back in the day.   

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I miss the North.  The Northern Forests are... intrinsically my true home.

 

I miss Fall and true Winter.  Though the painful sessions of returning feeling to frozen digits not so much.

 

I miss deep, dense forests and the near utter silence after a foot of snow has blanketed the world.

 

I miss how it sometimes rains for days, over thousands of square miles on end without ceasing... and there's no flooding.

 

I adore Southern California.  Snow in the morning and Beach in the afternoon if one wishes... but at a price.

 

When my tour in Southern California runs its course (another 10 years i sense).  I expect to settle in Northern Oregon or Washington for the final cycle of life.

 

Certainly up North.

Time for another road trip i think.  I need some northern old growth spirit touching mine...

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I hear you.  I feel much the same.  By the way, your name -- silent thunder -- is in itself like a heavy snowfall, no?

 

I feel the same.  Miss the weather of the real world, four seasons, each with its own personality, they were like friends and relatives and foes and adversaries, a whole family of relationships each, complex, rich.  SoCal climate is like that kindly aunt who has a warm smile for everybody but after a while you can't tell if she even notices you.  She does not engage, does not interact, it's up to you to wake up her soul -- if you can.  So, in a sense, living here is a spiritual challenge, whereas elsewhere it's a physical challenge that can turn spiritual sort of spontaneously for someone while only annoying and inconveniencing someone else.  

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22 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

I hear you.  I feel much the same.  By the way, your name -- silent thunder -- is in itself like a heavy snowfall, no?

 

I feel the same.  Miss the weather of the real world, four seasons, each with its own personality, they were like friends and relatives and foes and adversaries, a whole family of relationships each, complex, rich.  SoCal climate is like that kindly aunt who has a warm smile for everybody but after a while you can't tell if she even notices you.  She does not engage, does not interact, it's up to you to wake up her soul -- if you can.  So, in a sense, living here is a spiritual challenge, whereas elsewhere it's a physical challenge that can turn spiritual sort of spontaneously for someone while only annoying and inconveniencing someone else.  

whoa...

 

This is one of the most succinct descriptions of relation to climate in general, but SoCal climate in particular that I've ever heard. 

We share much resonance Master Meow.  So deeply grateful that you authentically share so much of your insight, effort and time here.

 

*deep bow of gratitude*

 

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50 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

I hear you.  I feel much the same.  By the way, your name -- silent thunder -- is in itself like a heavy snowfall, no?

Absolutely.  it was my first encounter with the Great Thunder of True Silence

 

 

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11 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

Wow!  Did you see the lights though?  Or were you too cold to pay attention by the time they showed up? :) 

 

You should have talked about keeping warm to someone who wound up in California but started out in Siberia, and not just about meditation -- I'd tell you about 100% wool socks, boots with sheep wool lining big enough to accommodate two pairs of those socks  without impairing circulation and with room to wiggle your toes, and if they do get cold, thawing them afterwards with vigorous rubbing and dry heat rather than warm water (a lot less painful), and about wool underwear and a scarf to cover half your face to warm up your nose with your own breath, and many other intricacies of thorough insulation and dryness, the solution to the extreme cold problem.  The coldest I've ever been in my life was in Los Angeles in June, when I was stuck outdoors for an hour on an unexpectedly cold and windy day -- I think it was 50 above -- dressed in the usual SoCal close-to-nothing.  I honestly didn't expect to survive, even though I've known 95 below back in the day.   

 

 

Funny thing, though.  I felt something like 'triumphant' after I got back home.  I had been married for 35 years, as you know, in a co-dependent relationship in which we both recovered and ended up with a great life.  I haven't lived alone in years.  I never go on a trip alone, except meeting up with a Road Scholar group and doing small group travel.  But this time I decided to just get on an airplane and go by myself and do something that was a stretch for me, but something that was on my bucket list.

 

I feel like I reclaimed a big part of myself that had been missing for some years.  Know what I mean?

 

Yes, the lights appeared from a green glow on the horizon.  It was beautiful, the snow was deep,  I'm glad for the experience.  I also went on a dog sled ride and through their ice museum, which was incredible.  Great to be back in the desert, though.

 

And - if anyone is ever tempted to buy those As Seen On TV socks that are supposed to be good to 32 below? Don't believe it.  :angry:

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On 20/01/2020 at 4:04 PM, Taomeow said:

 

Penguins might be a bit challenging.  I did practice with stray cats, squirrels, rabbits and the like.  Even a rattlesnake at one point.  The rattlesnake was the easiest to ignore -- I didn't even know it was there until I was done.  

 

I might appreciate the penguin more. Being eaten alive by insects during practice in 35°C heat was quite offputting, but there would be no risk of that in the antarctic

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On 1/20/2020 at 5:30 PM, Taomeow said:

Master Wang Liping took a group of his Chinese students to the Antarctic in December 2019 -- January 2020 for some empirical research into the practice under extreme conditions.

 

Weaklings! Wim Hof could have done that while naked!

 

:D

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2 hours ago, Ekstasis said:

 

Weaklings! Wim Hof could have done that while naked!

 

:D

 

Actually, this is an interesting point. I wonder how conditioning and also genetic makeup come into play.

 

I've recently sorted a new deal with my old landlord to move back in for half-rent, while he comes back to use the place like a hotel when he needs. He will never turn the heating on, but for me, I have to put it on 3-4 times a day right now, being a stone house and winter.

 

The guy just doesn't get cold. How I envy him...if I were this way, I'd save heaps of money. Instead, when idle for more than 30 mins if the heating hasn't been on in a while, I begin to shiver.

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8 hours ago, Rara said:

The guy just doesn't get cold. How I envy him...if I were this way, I'd save heaps of money. Instead, when idle for more than 30 mins if the heating hasn't been on in a while, I begin to shiver.

 

Maybe check your thyroid health? 

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1 hour ago, anshino23 said:

 

Maybe check your thyroid health? 

 

Already did actually. Had blood tests a few times when feeling generally weak and drained and the only thing that came back was Vit D deficiency, which was sorted with a short course of supplements.

 

As longs as I keep on the move, I'm ok. A great excuse to practice my taiji more regulalry 😁

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1 hour ago, Rara said:

 

Already did actually. Had blood tests a few times when feeling generally weak and drained and the only thing that came back was Vit D deficiency, which was sorted with a short course of supplements.

 

As longs as I keep on the move, I'm ok. A great excuse to practice my taiji more regulalry 😁

 

Happy to hear that. :) 

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There is something about snow, especially in a spruce and pine forest when the branches are dropping dry snow. It’s like the air gets to grab something through my lungs and pull it out, replacing it with fresh akr and clarifying energy. 

And that snow-silence is just unmatchable. Only the important stuff carries. Love it.

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1 hour ago, Rocky Lionmouth said:

There is something about snow, especially in a spruce and pine forest when the branches are dropping dry snow. It’s like the air gets to grab something through my lungs and pull it out, replacing it with fresh akr and clarifying energy. 

And that snow-silence is just unmatchable. Only the important stuff carries. Love it.

 

I even saw something or other scientific recently explaining the physical phenomena arising from the falling snow and absorbing all sounds.  Didn't read the explanations though, but it is, indeed, the kind of "sound of silence" that can't be replicated by, say, soundproofing a room.  

 

And then it also talks under your feet.  Untouched snow talks different languages as you walk depending on the temperature, on the nature of the snow itself, and also on the recordings of the previous changes of temperature and previous snow underneath.  It has memory, in layers, of its history.  

 

I once read a thread on Reddit where they asked formerly deaf people who successfully gained hearing via some medical interventions to describe all the surprises they encountered in the world of sound.  It was a fun read.  Everybody found the world much louder overall than they ever expected.  Aside from the noise of the cities, some were also very surprised by, e.g., how loud birds can be -- such a small creature, such decibels.  And then there was this guy who kept checking the sun for malfunction -- he always expected that something this bright and intense visually must be making a sound, some continuous buzz or rumble or hissing, something...  The silent sun blew his mind.  But I don't seem to recall anyone being surprised by the silence of a snowfall...  it must have always "looked silent" to them too.   

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21 hours ago, Taomeow said:

can't be replicated by, say, soundproofing a room.  

 

And then it also talks under your feet.  Untouched snow talks different languages as you walk depending on the temperature, on the nature of the snow itself, and also on the recordings of the previous changes of temperature and previous snow underneath.  It has memory, in layers, of its history.  

 

Completely understandable about the reproductibility of that silence.

Its sort of like a combined set of dynamic effects, like a multiband compression as well as filtering down or out certain frequencies.

 

Agreed on the language of snow and its layered history and dialect, beautiful description Meow!!

 

Funnily enough different temperatures and textures of snow generate different types of silence. Close to 0C snow speaks very loud and schreechy, i think its almost clingy in what it says. At those temperatures when spruce collects large, sticky chunks of really heavy snow its one sort of soundscape. Dampness in the air feels heavy, gusts get that sharp edge that cuts the skin almost. Similar to when hard crystal powder is blown strongly, but sharper and less like pins and needles.

Wet snowscape sounds fairly yin to me. Thaw and powdery snow is more yang, while frozen top coatings under new, soft and undisturbed snow is so rich an experience i can hardly lift my gaze from my shoes. :D

 

I wish i knew those specialty words for snow that some languages have. Swedish has some, but they’re more basic-descriptive groupings.

Wetsnow, powdersnow, cracklytopsnow, hardsnow, snowsmoke (refers to hard and fine powdersnow blown about violently enough that it looks like billows of smoke and coils over surfaces like rich moist arabic hookah tobacco smoke), snowmist (more of a phenomenon) and such.

Its said some indigenous words for snow are strikingly poetic and descriptive.

 

I really miss the four season areas. Where i’m at currently it’s two and a half seasons, mostly nasty sort of wet and sharply windy, snow is very rare...

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I miss Winter.  Never minded Winters in Minnesota.  They were amazing to me.  Just need the right gear, really to be comfortable.

 

And few memories are more intoxicating than one of my solo cross country treks, catching a sun break, just after a light ice storm in Minnesota.  It was early afternoon, temps hovering around but moving toward freezing with a light drizzle.  Heard the pull and didn't hesitate...

 

Tossed the skiis in the truck and headed out to the trail head.  By the time I'd arrived, temp dropped to perfection, freezing the rain covering the world in a light case of crystal water.  Turned to snow for a bit, then died off, leaving silent crystal perfection, or so I thought...

 

Then the Sun broke out and I stood their gape mouthed at the glowing crystal forest of silence.

 

Peak moment.  Such a gift!

I may forget my own birthday someday, but I'll carry that my whole life.

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52 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

By the time I'd arrived, temp dropped to perfection, freezing the rain covering the world in a light case of crystal water.  Turned to snow for a bit, then died off, leaving silent crystal perfection, or so I thought...

 

Then the Sun broke out and I stood their gape mouthed at the glowing crystal forest of silence.

 

Peak moment.  Such a gift!

I may forget my own birthday someday, but I'll carry that my whole life.

 

Beautiful!  I remember a crystal winter too -- everything crystallized, the whole city, the trees... man!  Stayed like that for a month I think.  Unreal.  And another thing I miss is those forests of ice crystals on the inside of the window (right over the heating batteries) -- the room was warm but any moisture in it would collect on the glass and somehow the difference of temperatures between the glass exposed to freezing cold on the outside and toasty warmth on the inside would paint those forests of ferns, flowers and feathers...  these don't happen on plastic windows, and I haven't seen them even on glass windows in a long time -- even in colder climates.  Where did they go?  Did you have them in Minnesota? 

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