Paradoxal

Question on the dantians

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

He's selling the dantian, one of the core notions of alchemical taoism specifically, to Buddhists, Hindu, and Christians in one fell swoop.  It's a lot like telling a Christian that the dantian is pure Jesus Christ (so you can proceed to buy this product, the dantian as presented by Damo, since it doesn't contradict your core teachings.)  Telling a Buddhist that the dantian has a core to seek -- well, I don't know what that is all about.  Nor why in Hinduism (which followers of various traditions in India proper don't even recognize as a term applicable to what they practice -- it's basically a colonialist construct) the dantian is supposed to be "dissolved."  This is pure nonsense, but it sounds inclusive.  People like that.  That's why I said it's a brilliant sales pitch.  

 

I see. :) Well, I can't explain his thoughts behind it I'm afraid. He said it might become a topic for one of the podcasts soon, so it would be interesting to hear his explanation and basis for sharing that when it is released. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

Then how would it have a light or substances that can be condensed? 

 

 


According to alchemical Daoism, everything has many layers of existence - including states of consciousness, including emptiness etc.

 

So it’s wrong to use “is” - as in ‘primordial nature is material’... it’s like saying water is steam...

 

But you’re closer with ‘light’ :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't there two elixirs? one bodily that is yellow or solar. And one of the Dao, beautiful golden, equivalent to the great Dharmakaya in buddhism. This great golden elixir we always have, and everything has, "even a Dog". This is beyond any named substances like yuan chi or yuan shen which must be build, strengthened or at least nurtured (protected) during each lifetime.

 

The bodily one however gives longevity to the body or it's cells (slows aging indefinitely), it is in the body, is it with the body and for the body. When you leave the body or it is destroyed it's over for this 'elixir'. If you reincarnate it doesn't follow you. It may even decay back into the universe.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

No :)

 

If so, then what is it made up of? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, freeform said:


According to alchemical Daoism, everything has many layers of existence - including states of consciousness, including emptiness etc.

 

So it’s wrong to use “is” - as in ‘primordial nature is material’... it’s like saying water is steam...

 

But you’re closer with ‘light’ :) 

And light is different from consciousness? :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, dwai said:

And light is different from consciousness? :) 


is steam different to ice? :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, freeform said:


is steam different to ice? :) 

Not in it’s core. Both are forms of water :) 

 

Haha what’s funny is, I was going to use that same analogy to explain why I don’t consider any of these “things” (Jing/Qi/shen/light) to be ultimately different. They are all modifications of awareness (pure consciousness). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, dwai said:

Haha what’s funny is, I was going to use that same analogy to explain why I don’t consider any of these “things” (Jing/Qi/shen/light) to be ultimately different. They are all modifications of awareness (pure consciousness).


You’ve already said that :) 

 

I don’t disagree.
 

But we’re not trying to find some ultimate truth. That’s not the point of Daoist alchemy - the point is utility - pragmatism... 

 

With ice you can cool your glass of water - which you can sip to quench your thirst aboard a steamboat which traverses a river... each form has its utility - and the utility varies drastically.

 

34 minutes ago, dwai said:

Not in it’s core. Both are forms of water :) 


That’s one way of looking at it... and shows your bias for a certain range of temperature (or a certain view of things :))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, freeform said:


You’ve already said that :) 

 

I don’t disagree.
 

But we’re not trying to find some ultimate truth. That’s not the point of Daoist alchemy - the point is utility - pragmatism... 

 

With ice you can cool your glass of water - which you can sip to quench your thirst aboard a steamboat which traverses a river... each form has its utility - and the utility varies drastically.

 


That’s one way of looking at it... and shows your bias for a certain range of temperature (or a certain view of things :))

I wouldn’t use the word “bias”, more like “preference”. Why? Because the dualistic model is useful to a point. Beyond which it becomes a hurdle and a prison. 

 

The ‘ultimate truth’ is quite liberating (that’s why it’s called liberation or freedom). 
 

For example, what need does water have for ice or steam? Whatever happens will happen. Water remains unaffected and water through and through whether in solid, liquid or gaseous state. 
 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s no value in this kind of stuff. I’m saying that the value is relative. 
 

It might not be applicable to many here, but in the spirit of sharing freely, I’m sharing the “big picture” (what I consider as such) view. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EmeraldHead said:

Aren't there two elixirs? one bodily that is yellow or solar. And one of the Dao, beautiful golden, equivalent to the great Dharmakaya in buddhism. This great golden elixir we always have, and everything has, "even a Dog". This is beyond any named substances like yuan chi or yuan shen which must be build, strengthened or at least nurtured (protected) during each lifetime.

 

The bodily one however gives longevity to the body or it's cells (slows aging indefinitely), it is in the body, is it with the body and for the body. When you leave the body or it is destroyed it's over for this 'elixir'. If you reincarnate it doesn't follow you. It may even decay back into the universe.

Are there really “two” elixirs though? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

He's selling the dantian, one of the core notions of alchemical taoism specifically, to Buddhists, Hindu, and Christians in one fell swoop.  Telling a Christian that the dantian is pure Jesus Christ (so you can proceed to buy this product, the dantian as presented by (name edited by me -- TM), since it doesn't contradict your core teachings.)  Telling a Buddhist that the dantian has a core to seek -- well, I don't know what that is all about.  Nor why in Hinduism (which followers of various traditions in India proper don't even recognize as a term applicable to what they practice -- it's basically a colonialist construct) the dantian is supposed to be "dissolved."  This is pure nonsense, but it sounds inclusive.  People like that.  That's why I said it's a brilliant sales pitch.  

 

Taoism has a right to have its own core notions and not be forced to share them toward "inclusiveness" with everybody and their brother and his pet elephant.  Cultural appropriation is inappropriate.  

 

 

 

I find this kind of reductionism amusing. And starry-eyed fan-people gobble this up with great gusto...and the outcome is anyone’s guess. 
 

For example, ‘Hinduism’ is not looking to ‘dissolve Dantien’ — while young damo might have meant something specific with it,  on the face of it, it sounds childish. 
 

In fact there are Hindu yogic/tantric traditions which match the neidan stuff in great detail and then some. 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, dwai said:

Are there really “two” elixirs though? 

I wouldn't call any substance of the yinshen an elixir for none of them should have value in a moral society. In every age the earth is field with masters of all of them who can share effortlessly. But that's just me. People call them that.

 

However they are 2 totally different concepts with no cross over. Are you saying differently?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, dwai said:

I find this kind of reductionism amusing. And starry-eyed fan-people gobble this up with great gusto...and the outcome is anyone’s guess. 
 

For example, ‘Hinduism’ is not looking to ‘dissolve Dantien’ — while young damo might have meant something specific with it,  on the face of it, it sounds childish. 
 

In fact there are Hindu yogic/tantric traditions which match the neidan stuff in great detail and then some. 

 


Always with "and then some."  :D

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how this would be possible. It seems to me that, especially based on Freeform's descriptions, that the methodologies are different to the point of incompatibility. This is not to say that one is right or one is wrong, but it does seem that they are going in different directions. 


From an Abhidharmic POV, anything that is cultivated, refined, or developed is dependently originated, and according to the words of the Buddha, bears the three marks of impermanence, not-self, and dissatisfaction. As it is dependently originated, it depends on causes and conditions, and it will eventually pass away. In addition, the aim of Buddhism is the cessation of suffering, not the creation of something. So it doesn't make sense that Buddhists would put in the intense time and effort to develop the Elixer, nor does it make sense that the Elixer would be unintentionally developed by the Buddhists. 

 

As FF says, the goal of alchemy is not ultimate truth. However, it is the goal of Mahayana Buddhist teaching, so there is again another difference.

 

Finally, the descriptions FF provides about the essence of any such state would not fit in with Buddhism, as the essence of everything is emptiness. It would not be possible to condense emptiness, for example. 

 

So it seems to me that these are two very different paths, and at some point, one has to make a choice of method. 

 

4 hours ago, anshino23 said:

Would you say that authentic Tibetan Buddhist masters also attain this Elixir? How about those that have become free from rebirth in a prior lifetime of intense alchemical study, but then decide (out of compassion and vows) to come back to help free sentient beings from suffering - do they also have to go through the whole alchemical process to gestate the elixir into the Golden Embryo and so forth? Or are they simply born with it (unactivated), and they just need to re-member, and then they have direct access to their higher body from that moment on?

 

Very interesting discussion. Thank you for sharing :) 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

As FF says, the goal of alchemy is not ultimate truth. However, it is the goal of Mahayana Buddhist teaching, so there is again another difference.

Not going trying to draw parallels between different traditions, but this isn't quite right.  The truth of emptiness is realized at 1st Bhumi, there are 9 more after that!  In classical Mahayana, the Bodhisattva continues to accumulate merit, which eventually produces the rupakaya of a Buddha, and wisdom, which produces the dharmakaya of a Buddha.  What does it mean to accumulate wisdom even after realizing emptiness?  And how can one "produce" the dharmakaya?  Couldn't tell you, but that's what the sutras say. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about. What I wrote was pretty basic Madhyamaka stuff, which compiles the Prajnaparamita literature and serves as the overall basis for all four Tibetan schools, and as far as the Bhumis, per the Tibetan teachers I've had, they all refer to the realization of emptiness. I could pull various quotes from various sources, but that is off point here. I've not heard of any teachers proposing the "production fo the dharmakaya." Perhaps you can enlighten me in the Buddhist section. :)

 

1 hour ago, Creation said:

Not going trying to draw parallels between different traditions, but this isn't quite right.  The truth of emptiness is realized at 1st Bhumi, there are 9 more after that!  In classical Mahayana, the Bodhisattva continues to accumulate merit, which eventually produces the rupakaya of a Buddha, and wisdom, which produces the dharmakaya of a Buddha.  What does it mean to accumulate wisdom even after realizing emptiness?  And how can one "produce" the dharmakaya?  Couldn't tell you, but that's what the sutras say. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about. What I wrote was pretty basic Madhyamaka stuff, which compiles the Prajnaparamita literature and serves as the overall basis for all four Tibetan schools, and as far as the Bhumis, per the Tibetan teachers I've had, they all refer to the realization of emptiness. I could pull various quotes from various sources, but that is off point here. I've not heard of any teachers proposing the "production fo the dharmakaya." Perhaps you can enlighten me in the Buddhist section. :)

Madhayama compiles the philosophical position (the "view") of the PP sutras, it is a philosophical school not a practice lineage.  That the Bodhisattva path consists of the accumulation of merit and the accumulation of wisdom, the fruition of which are the form body (nirmanakaya + sambhogakaya) of a Buddha and the dharma body of a Buddha, respectively, 

is in the PP sutras, but as that's not strictly about view it's not the part that was consolidated into Madhyamaka.  My point was that even in Buddhism you have the idea that part of the goal of the path is a type of perfected body which is cultivated by the accumulation of the causes of such a body.  Sorry if I wasn't more clear.  The stuff about the bhumis and producing the dharmakaya are side points.

Edited by Creation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2020-07-06 at 9:58 PM, dwai said:

The process of fortification and restoration are not separate. That which fortifies also will replenish. And replenishment only happens to the degree the system can hold it. A leaky pot will keep leaking until it is sealed, irrespective of how much water you fill in it. 

Laying the foundations. 

On 2020-07-06 at 9:58 PM, dwai said:


With that in mind, Up to a certain extent, ‘replenishment’ is simply improving the efficiency of the system so that less depletion occurs. But a grander ‘replenishment’ occurs when universal energy becomes available to us. 
 

If I understand it right, there is a step here that is skipped. 

On 2020-07-06 at 9:58 PM, dwai said:

 

And imho,  the advanced level work is beyond dantiens etc, it is in the realm of consciousness and  mind. But then, consciousness and energy are not separate “things” anymore...

 

Absolutely. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

So it doesn't make sense that Buddhists would put in the intense time and effort to develop the Elixer, nor does it make sense that the Elixer would be unintentionally developed by the Buddhists. 

 

And yet there are records of for example a commentary to the Cantong Qi written by a Chan buddhist, and quite a few records of people doing cross training and how buddhist practice has been influenced by other methods. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several lineages in different traditions that have very similar approaches to Daoist internal alchemy. This includes some Hindu traditions, some esoteric Buddhist lines within Chan, Thai, Burmese and Tibetan traditions as well as others.
 

Rather than working directly within states of consciousness - they all work with the essence or ‘substances’ underlying these states of consciousness to produce transformation.
 

This is the ‘tantric’ approach to spiritual cultivation.

 

The mental models they all use to explain the process are very different and of course there are different aims, approaches and outcomes. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, EmeraldHead said:

This great golden elixir we always have, and everything has, "even a Dog". This is beyond any named substances like yuan chi or yuan shen which must be build, strengthened or at least nurtured (protected) during each lifetime.

 

Is it so? 

 

I thought that when daoists write about Jindan, translated as the golden Elixir, it is still about the Ming and Xing practice. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Cleansox said:

Laying the foundations. 

If I understand it right, there is a step here that is skipped. 

Absolutely. 

It is not a linear process. And it varies with the individual based on their karmic influences. 
 

As far as I understand it, the process is simple and direct. Laying the foundations will concentrate and purify the qi. Qi and mind are interdependent. Concentrate one, and the other will concentrate. Purify one and the other will purify. 

 

In the internal alchemical traditions (imho), the path is to work with the (body and) energy (qi);  to purify and concentrate it. But the actual goal is to purify and concentrate the mind. 
 

When the mind is sufficiently clear and purified, a direct apperception of our true nature is possible. It requires external knowledge (likely in the form of a teacher), but once this knowledge is assimilated, result is realization of our true nature.
 

An interesting outcome of this process, comes from the realization that all phenomena are manifestation of the true nature alone. This opens up the universal nature of energy to the ‘individual’. 
 

A skeptical person might say, “yeah that’s all fine and reasonably simple in the domain of intellectual knowing, but is it that easy to realize it?”

 

That is dependent on our karma (and to the religious minded, on the grace of G_d).

 

The “Truth” is simple and direct. The methods are complex. Often people get lost in the weeds of methods, and miss the fact that methods are fingers pointing to the proverbial moon. Just one method is sufficient (any out of the many), there is no need to amass 1000s. 
 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, dwai said:

 

Just one method is sufficient (any out of the many), there is no need to amass 1000s. 

So you know a single method that covers clearing the vessels and allow for replenishing, and allows for refining/transmuting jing, and for r/t qi, and for r/t shen? 

😎 

 

And it is a method that makes the step from houtian methods to xiantian Ming exercises redundant (the step I thought was missing in your description) so one can move straight into xing?

 

From a Daoist Nei Dan perspective, for an individual with low virtue, is that possible? 

Or did you intend to include that part in your description, and I just missed it? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cleansox said:

Is it so? 

 

I thought that when daoists write about Jindan, translated as the golden Elixir, it is still about the Ming and Xing practice. 

Right. Then the goal of jindan is to stop the aging of the body. And all those blogs, sites, people etc mentioning the more spiritual attainment in relation to a golden elixir are wrong. For example saying the golden elixir makes you a perfect man or whatever sales pitch phrases they prefer.

 

No confusion :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Cleansox said:

So you know a single method that covers clearing the vessels and allow for replenishing, and allows for refining/transmuting jing, and for r/t qi, and for r/t shen? 

😎 

When I say method, I mean tradition/lineage. 

Quote

 

And it is a method that makes the step from houtian methods to xiantian Ming exercises redundant (the step I thought was missing in your description) so one can move straight into xing?

think I answered this already above :) 

Quote

 

From a Daoist Nei Dan perspective, for an individual with low virtue, is that possible? 

Or did you intend to include that part in your description, and I just missed it? 

What is “Low virtue”? I don’t consider “de” to be virtue in the sense of “ethics”. De is a ‘copy’ of the dao in each and every one of us. It is hidden by the modifications of our mind. 
 

Different people might be in different phases of the continuum based on how scattered and/or polluted their minds are. The ‘method’ when done diligently and sincerely will bear fruit. Mainly requirements  are patience, perseverance and consistency. 
 

P.S. My Sifu says to us all the time (paraphrasing here) — “you need to have 100% faith and confidence in your own abilities and the system. If you have even .1% doubts, you are self-sabotaging”.

 

Edited by dwai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites