dmattwads

Inner alchemy outer reality

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So I think it's taken for granted that working on your qi it's good for your health and mind but does it affect your outside world? Does it affect your success in your career and with money? Things like this? is there anything in Taoist literature that indicate any such effect?

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I think it’s good to look at who possesses qi and what that even means. Where is the separation between my qi and that of others, that of the environment? My personal conclusion is that they are continuous and affect each other profoundly. 

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1 hour ago, steve said:

I think it’s good to look at who possesses qi and what that even means. Where is the separation between my qi and that of others, that of the environment? My personal conclusion is that they are continuous and affect each other profoundly. 

 

True but if you look at the various states of health of individuals it quickly becomes apparent that the state and quality of Qi in different people is not the same. One can also assume this is the case in the environment with the different states of feng shui different locations have.

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34 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

True but if you look at the various states of health of individuals it quickly becomes apparent that the state and quality of Qi in different people is not the same. One can also assume this is the case in the environment with the different states of feng shui different locations have.

 

Agreed

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Perhaps look into writings about Ming and how to change it.

 

Bodri has some good stuff on changing destiny with the famous lesson from Liao Fan’s Four Lessons, written by Yuan Liao Fan. Here's the story as explained by Bodri. 

 

Quote

The story goes that during China’s Ming dynasty (in the 1500s), an ordinary man named Yuan Liao Fan started to study medicine to become a doctor. His mother had persuaded him to study the healing arts instead of studying to pass the imperial civil service examinations because it would be a good way for him to support himself while helping others.

During a chance meeting during a meditation retreat, Liao Fan met an elderly fortune teller named Kong who told Liao Fan that he shouldn’t be studying medicine because he was destined to become a government official. During that time all government positions were attained by passing the special imperial exams, and Kong asked him, “Why aren’t you studying for the government examinations?”

It was surprising to Liao Fan that a perfect stranger could know anything about his life and fate to make such a suggestion. Liao Fan and his mother initially didn’t believe Kong and his forecasting abilities, but decided to test him on all sorts of predictions. Using the strange method of Iron Abacus Numerology developed by the sage Shao Kangjie, which calculates out the index numbers of sentences in a special book that reveals your fated fortune, they found that Kong’s predictions on all sorts of matters, great and small, were always accurate.

As a result, Liao Fan started studying for the imperial exams as Kong had recommended. Kong said he would pass with the rank of 14th place in the county exam, 71st in the regional exam and 9th in the provisional exam; and Liao Fan passed the examinations exactly as predicted.

Kong then calculated predictions for the rest of Liao Fan’s life including all the years he would pass civil service exams and in what location, the years he would attain various government promotions, what they would be, and so on. The Iron Abacus Numerology method had revealed that his final appointment in life would be as a magistrate in Sichuan province serving for three and a half years, after which he would retire, return home and die at age fifty-three on a particular date without any heirs.

Being a well educated man, Liao Fan continued to view those predictions with skepticism, but everything happened exactly as predicted for five consecutive years. There was even an amazing prediction that he would be promoted after receiving a ration of 259 bushels of rice. He was actually recommended for a promotion after receiving only 200 bushels, so he started to doubt the prediction. However, a new boss turned down the recommendation. Some time later a new commissioner promoted him after reviewing his case and he got his new post after receiving exactly the amount of rice that had been calculated. Kong’s amazing predictions had proved to be one hundred percent accurate, and from that point on Liao Fan deeply believed that everything in life was fated. Everything, he felt, happened in due time according to fate, including the length of one’s life span.

Hinduism, Jainism, Yoga, Taoism, Buddhism and many other eastern spiritual schools certainly believe in karma, and that you come into this world with a life span that is fated. As the length of your life is fated, so they say that the number of your breaths is fated as well. However, they also teach that hard work and merit can change this predetermined amount. In other words, you can change your fate and fortune.

According to the karmic principles of causality, the merit you bring with you when you are born is fixed unless you work throughout life to increase it or replenish it. If you squander your merit in foolish activities then you will simply waste life without accomplishing anything new at all. If you cultivate a kind mind of charity and giving, however, then because there is no limit to your mind at the moment of giving then the rewards you receive in response can be equally as great as that expanse. In other words, what you achieve in life will all depend on your mindset and efforts.

Liao Fan, however, started to believe that health and sickness, life and death, marriage and divorce, wealth and poverty and all other aspects of life were perfectly fixed. Believing in fate and predestination, he began to view everything in a detached manner and ceased to seek gain or profit or any special achievements out of the ordinary.

Liao Fan was eventually selected as an imperial student, and was sent to the University of Beijing to study for one year where he began the practice of meditation in earnest. With practice he achieved some progress where he could sit with his mind in silence.

Afterwards he went to Nanjing for one year where he happened to attend a meditation retreat with Zen Master Yungu. Master Yungu saw him meditate for three days and nights without much sleep and asked him why he had become so excellent at sitting without any wandering thoughts or mental attachments. Master Yungu said, “The reason why ordinary people cannot become enlightened is because they hold to meandering thoughts. In our three-day meditation I have not observed you succumb to any such wandering thoughts. Why is that?”

Liao Fan replied, “The entire outcome of my life has been accurately predicted and the timing of everything is predestined. Everything such as promotion or failure and even life and death are fated so there is no need for me to desire any goals. I already know how everything will unfold. Because of fate there is no room for other results than what is already fated so there is no need for me to desire anything. It is useless to even think about it, so it is easy for my mind to become naturally settled.”

Master Yungu then slapped him with the words, “I thought you were someone of special capability because you were able to sit (meditate) well with very few meandering thoughts, but now I see from your answer that you are no more than a common person.”

The Zen master explained that most people are entirely subject to fate. They merely chase after external achievements without turning inwards to cultivate their minds, and so they are bound to their karma. At most they only attain in life what fate has already entitled them to achieve and enjoy. Even an extraordinarily talented person is still bound by their prior destiny when they don’t bother to cultivate their freedom from old habits, patterns of behavior and attachments.

A person’s fate is truly created by his own past thoughts and deeds just as the returns you receive in life are indeed the fruit of your karma. If someone attains one million dollars in this life it is because they have cultivated the good fortune worthy of that amount.

Therefore if you want to achieve more than what you already have in store then you have to act in such a way that your destiny will be re-created. Positive efforts can slowly carve out a new reward that modifies fate and creates a new pattern of destiny. You must simply take charge of the process. You must detach from the karmic thoughts and propensities that carve out a predestined fate and go against his grain of those energies to create a new future. Only meditation can teach you how to disassociate from or ignore the thoughts that would normally control you along a destined causeway.

“You can live life as though everything is predestined and fated,” Zen master Yungu explained, “using up whatever stores you have in your karmic merit bank until it is empty and your life ends, or you can cultivate good thoughts and do good deeds to replenish your merits and move ahead. By so doing you will accumulate positive karma and this merit will result in magnifying your life and the lives of those around you.

“If you want to change your fortune you should not give in to wandering thoughts. Then you will most easily receive a response. Only a mind empty of wandering thoughts that jump from here to there can transcend the predetermination of mathematics. Otherwise an individual will tend to be bound by destiny.

“When your mind reaches a stage of emptiness, or non-attachment, that is where you will be able to create a new fortune and destiny since within the formlessness of non-attachment to what arises there is as yet no set pattern. You are not attaching to your old karmic thought patterns when you practice the formlessness of detachment. When our spiritual cultivation and self-cultivation reaches a certain level of mental excellence in this respect then our destiny will certainly change. The change will depend upon your accumulation of merits and upon seeking a response (help) from (the beings in) Heaven.”

“Furthermore,” Yungu said, “destiny simply cannot control those who have accomplished numerous exemplary deeds. For twenty years you have been bound by Mr. Kong’s predictions and done nothing to change them, so you are just an ordinary person. Since you have not cultivated extremely good deeds then your life has accorded with exactly what had been predicted. If you subject yourself to a disciplined course of action that moves you forward despite your old thought patterns that hold you back in your old predestined fortune, then you can attain whatever you seek by re-creating your destiny rather than being constrained by a fortune.”

Liao Fan listened respectfully to Master Yungu but objected, saying that fame, wealth and prestige might be attainable through seeking, but their seeking and attainment were probably already predestined. Therefore, non-attainment or failure was also probably fated regardless of any efforts we made.

This makes some sense, because according to karmic theory the desire for most things arises from previous lives. Therefore one would exert great effort to attain those desires as the materialization of that karma. (In other words, your efforts and their outcome are both already karmically fated.) If you choose to seek something that you were not supposed to have, in that case the seeking would be useless, but it would still be karma that caused you to make the fruitless effort.

This is what Liao Fan argued: if you are not supposed to have something, then regardless of how hard you seek you will not get it.

Referencing the teachings of the Zen school and Confucianism, Master Yungu explained that everything starts from the mind and everything is experienced within consciousness. If we were to seek first from within the mind and build an outcome there, then starting from the inner we will have an actual chance to build a fortune in the outer world that is not already predestined. The mind is by nature empty, and if we build from its foundations of formlessness then we can bring something new into the real world.

All seeking must start from the mind, which is an instrument subject to changes. If we could stay continually concentrated with our thoughts along a proper course or reach a state where thoughts were entirely absent, we would create an opportunity where fate would no longer bind us and we could actively create a new fortune.

Yes, you can seek and attain something not destined in your life, but such a goal requires that you become an active, disciplined doer. You need to pursue the goal with grit and perseverance and ignore wandering thoughts that sidetrack you from your goals. You must avoid being someone whose motivation sways and who ends up following directionless meandering thoughts. The jumpy monkey’s mind we harbor that leaps from place to place lacks the concentration necessary to produce high outcomes in life. Instead of allowing your own mind to harbor scattered thoughts like a monkey’s, you must become a channeled thinker and doer.

This is an approach that is utterly practical and scientific.

 

Full post here: https://www.meditationexpert.com/self-improvement/s_Liao-Fans-Four-Lesson-Benjamin-Franklin-Bettger-change-your-fortune.html

Hope that can be of help :) 

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13 hours ago, dmattwads said:

So I think it's taken for granted that working on your qi it's good for your health and mind but does it affect your outside world? Does it affect your success in your career and with money? Things like this? is there anything in Taoist literature that indicate any such effect?

 

Taoism nowadays are mainly into 2 sects/types.  Chuen Jan Faction and Jing Yat Faction.  Chuen Jan is more on inner alchemy, and/or being a religion like Buddhism, Christianity or Hinduism.   Jing Yat is Taoists in ceremonies, burial rituals, magicks, purging ghosts, bringing fortunes, mending relationships, Feng Shui, fortune telling, divination and so on.  They also train their Chi too.   Since Taoism is extremely diversified, each sect or each temple is different from the others. 

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13 hours ago, dmattwads said:

So I think it's taken for granted that working on your qi it's good for your health and mind but does it affect your outside world? Does it affect your success in your career and with money? Things like this? is there anything in Taoist literature that indicate any such effect?

 

A common assumption in both Taoist and Confucian thought is that well-cultivated people naturally attract loyalty and bring order and stability to the world around them without seeming to do anything. That is how wu-wei is supposed to work as a governing approach. So Mencius talks about how he nourishes his "flood-like qi" which fills up heaven and earth. Of course the question naturally arises as to why so many sages did not become kings, so the state of the society one is in matters too, and in places where the Way does not prevail sages can become recluses.

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37 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

 

A common assumption in both Taoist and Confucian thought is that well-cultivated people naturally attract loyalty and bring order and stability to the world around them without seeming to do anything. That is how wu-wei is supposed to work as a governing approach. So Mencius talks about how he nourishes his "flood-like qi" which fills up heaven and earth. Of course the question naturally arises as to why so many sages did not become kings, so the state of the society one is in matters too, and in places where the Way does not prevail sages can become recluses.

 

Yes, I think it would have much to do with the collective karma of the society that determines the leader they get.

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19 hours ago, anshino23 said:

Perhaps look into writings about Ming

ming! ming is yuan chi, so if you can progress with higher energies, voila you start to wei wu wei outside or 'beyond' the reach of destinity.

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