Apech

Emotions are the path

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18 minutes ago, Bindi said:

 


 

Hmm, what about Ananda from the phrase ‘Sat-Chit-Ananda’. 
 

From yogapedia:

  • Ananda: bliss, a state of pure happiness, joy and sensual pleasure

 


And from a Chinese perspective there is Shen Ming:

 

There is a term in Chinese Medicine for when your eyes are shining brilliantly – we call it Shen Ming (神 明), and it often translated as ‘the radiance of the spirits.’ 
 

Shen Ming is a concept that appears throughout Chinese Medicine and philosophy that refers to the luminosity and radiance of our true Self. When you see someone whose eyes are shining brilliantly, like they are awake and filled with bliss, that is Shen Ming. We see it very often in babies, who for the most part don’t have much in the way of their pure joy in life.

 

 

I don''t get your point.

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20 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

I don''t get your point.


I probably should have responded to LL’s post, where he posits stillness as the end result of feeling emotions. You had responded to his post, so I responded to yours without thinking it through. 
 

In terms like stillness or emptiness I don’t get a sense of the vibrancy that I feel is part of the end result.

 

 

 

Edited by Bindi
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36 minutes ago, Bindi said:

 

In terms like stillness or emptiness I don’t get a sense of the vibrancy that I feel is part of the end result.

 

 

The center isn´t really a location in time or space.  It´s beyond the beyond of the beyond.  It´s that dimension of awareness where seeming opposites -- female and male, tranquility and vibrancy, fullness and emptiness -- lose their polarity.  In our ordinary frame of reference, it doesn´t make sense that something could be vibrant and still at the same time.  The center, for most of us, is not our ordinary frame of reference.

 

Just my opinion.

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4 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

 

The center isn´t really a location in time or space.  It´s beyond the beyond of the beyond.  It´s that dimension of awareness where seeming opposites -- female and male, tranquility and vibrancy, fullness and emptiness -- lose their polarity.  In our ordinary frame of reference, it doesn´t make sense that something could be vibrant and still at the same time.  The center, for most of us, is not our ordinary frame of reference.

 

Just my opinion.

 

it also 'cosmically' feels like a liquid.

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52 minutes ago, Bindi said:


 

In terms like stillness or emptiness I don’t get a sense of the vibrancy that I feel is part of the end result.

 

 

 

 

If you are K-active as I am, I feel the vibrancy as well.  I intentionally carry the mental image now of that vibrancy being the essence of 'shine'.  As in aura, or emination.   To integrate the vibrancy into your being is to not be distracted by it.

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3 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

 

Does it?  Something tells me you know better than I.

 

and something tells me that you know just fine. :D

 

I tend to see things in symbols in my terciary oculus.  That's when I meant when I said cosmically.  It's more an impression of liquid - like the impression of spaciousness.  Not as much a feeling as an impression.  But yes - I do 'see' it as liquid because all has ultimately melded together, and character hasn't gotten in the way.  In liquid all angles are possible, no restrictions.  Nothing to hamper the movement.  I see it as the peace of soul I have looked for my entire life.  I have finally found me.

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47 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

 

The center isn´t really a location in time or space.  It´s beyond the beyond of the beyond.  It´s that dimension of awareness where seeming opposites -- female and male, tranquility and vibrancy, fullness and emptiness -- lose their polarity.  In our ordinary frame of reference, it doesn´t make sense that something could be vibrant and still at the same time.  The center, for most of us, is not our ordinary frame of reference.

 

Just my opinion.


Vibrant and still at the same time - perhaps Qi singing through the channels while we remain peaceful and unperturbed emotionally and mentally. 

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3 hours ago, manitou said:

 

and something tells me that you know just fine. :D

 

I tend to see things in symbols in my terciary oculus.  That's when I meant when I said cosmically.  It's more an impression of liquid - like the impression of spaciousness.  Not as much a feeling as an impression.  But yes - I do 'see' it as liquid because all has ultimately melded together, and character hasn't gotten in the way.  In liquid all angles are possible, no restrictions.  Nothing to hamper the movement.  I see it as the peace of soul I have looked for my entire life.  I have finally found me.

I'm just gonna echo this... cuz... um... wow does this ring the bowl!

2 hours ago, manitou said:

Maybe like a Tibetan singing bowl.

yup...

Edited by silent thunder
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11 hours ago, Apech said:

 

 

So far I've noticed two versions of goals.  One is like yours - to remove or strip away to become 'I am' or maybe 'light' or some other definition of the underlying consciousness.  The other is to construct or create a foetus or body that is immortal.  I wonder if these two are in some way reconcilable(?).  And more importantly how do emotions or dealing with emotions result in either of these?

 

 


Regarding how dealing with emotions results in spiritual growth, it’s complex and I don’t have all the answers, but some parts of it I understand. 
 

Stored emotional and mental ‘complexes’ (to borrow a useful term from psychoanalysis) exist in each dantian which is somewhat equivalent to saying there are three granthis or knots (in the same positions as the dantians) in the human body. The granthis are considered to be energetic or psychic blocks that prevent Prana from rising up through Sushumna Nadi, so this is the problem, and emotional work untangles these knots one by one, starting from the lower dantian. 
 

Yoga mentions Prana as rising up through Sushumna Nadi, I can’t help thinking consciousness rides on this Prana, by which I mean to say to my understanding consciousness also rises over time from the lower dantian until it reaches the 7th chakra. Where the 7th chakra is, is disputable. 
 

The ‘immortal foetus’ is not so difficult to birth in the lower dantian once emotional work is started, to me it is a spontaneous and early event in the lower dantian, but nurturing this subtle matter and raising it are hard and not possible I think without guidance. 

edit to add: Mixing traditions outrageously it’s like resting awareness on the sacral chakra and feeling the feeling there, which simply responds by birthing the subtle level of yin and yang in the beginning of internal work. The sacral chakra or second chakra is located two inches below the navel, and is represented by the color orange. This chakra governs emotions, creativity, sensitivity, sexuality, intimacy, emotional well-being, and self-expression, and is associated with the element of water. 
 

 

Edited by Bindi
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I’m enjoying this thread a lot.

 

I find it interesting because we’re instinctually touching on important points.

 

@Apech made a point about two contradictory directions or goals and @Bindi mentioned Shen Ming - these things are very much interrelated.

 

Regarding the dichotomy of stripping away and creating. Daoism is actually one of the few paths that I know of that aims to do both. This is the nature of the Xing-Ming path.


The thing is - how can you strip away, while also creating - these seem like opposing forces.

 

The Daoist answer is Wei Wu Wei.
 

It works through cause and effect - we create the cause then allow the effect to come about spontaneously.

 

Ming involves generating huge amounts of Qi... Xing involves stripping away anything that’s not our true nature... The early result is the light of Shen Ming - not emptiness. For Shen Ming to arise we need several causes to be in place - and these are Ming related (Qi) and Xing related (stillness)... the result is the light of Shen Ming - not emptiness (this is considered a major error).

 

Alchemy then absorbs into the light of Shen Ming to find its essence (form within the formless)... it plucks the essence from the formless and uses it as one of the alchemical ingredients...

 

How do emotions fit in? They’re the coloured lights - refracted (distorted) from the light of  your original spirit... as refracted light they are not your original self (but very close) and they manifest as the 5 virtues... as they ‘solidify’ (away from light and towards form) more and more - they become the various channels and organ spirits and on the level of your heart-mind, they become the emotions (quite far from your original self).

 

The emotions are the muddied, contrived and convoluted manifestation of the 5 lights or 5 virtues. And the 5 lights are the refracted/distorted light of your original spirit - Yuan Shen. And Shen Ming is the light of the original spirit.
 

The emotions in my tradition are not considered important - we can’t work with them directly because they get you mired in their own drama... So we work on a slightly deeper level - on the level of Qi.

 

You can get a hint of how Asian traditions see emotion by how different their artwork is to Western art... western art is all about drama - the highs and lows of emotion... Eastern art tends to be about calm and equanimity - nature, the divine.

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1 hour ago, freeform said:

You can get a hint of how Asian traditions see emotion by how different their artwork is to Western art... western art is all about drama - the highs and lows of emotion... Eastern art tends to be about calm and equanimity - nature, the divine.

 

A lot of Eastern art is about emotions, but a different kind.  E.g. traditional Japanese depictions of animals are imbued with subtle humor or outright comedy -- they are fun and funny, emotions they arouse are akin to the pure childish joy of watching something ridiculously adorable, like a kitten playing with a ball of yarn.  Traditional Chinese poetry often revolves around the emotional ups and downs, joys and sorrows of friendship to the same extent Western poetry revolves around love.  A lot of Eastern art places emphasis on emotions that are peripheral in Western art -- and vice versa.  Of course they partially intersect on common ground, we're all human.  But a famous taoist artist whose method consisted in getting drunk, dipping his long hair into a bucket of wine, swishing it around a sheet of rice paper or a silk screen and then adding a few quick brush strokes to the resulting chaos to transform it into order and produce a masterpiece was perhaps on a different level of knowing the Way than anyone who couldn't trust his uncultivated qi to replicate this method without making an ugly mess.   

 

Attitudes toward ordinary consciousness vs. different, extraordinary states of consciousness is what we need to explore.  In this respect the East has been somewhat more accepting of the extraordinary states of consciousness and the resulting range of emotions.  Ours has been, generally, drastically narrowed.  We are supposed to only stay in the "normal" everyday state and not overstep its bounds -- all means and methods that can push one outside that tiny convention-compliant range, in our case, tend to be frowned upon as indulgences, discouraged, disallowed, or punished.  That's one reason we are unable, in the average case, to find balance.  We don't know the range.  How can a point of equilibrium be found by anyone who doesn't know the extremes?  Where is it?  How do they know?

 

They don't.  That's why all those states so much talked about -- bliss, ananda, nirvana, wuwei, whatever anyone likes to call them -- are not states of being for the majority of people talking about them.  At best they are just brief visits to a place where one can't abide.  Too much is ignored that surrounds that point, too much is unknown, un-experienced, un-explored, un-lived.  

 

To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, "stand up and live before you sit down and meditate."

Edited by Taomeow
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4 hours ago, Taomeow said:

To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, "stand up and live before you sit down and meditate."

 

Interesting advice, especially in the extremes.  Standing up and living, to me, was a haze of drunkenness.  But even at that, it led to the path.

 

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37 minutes ago, manitou said:

 

Interesting advice, especially in the extremes.  Standing up and living, to me, was a haze of drunkenness.  But even at that, it led to the path.

 

 

I'm happy for you it did.  In most cases it doesn't though, because getting stuck at an extreme may be even less of a pathfinder than not knowing the extremes.  I think, ideally, they are to be explored and left, with intimate knowledge and experience gained.  But we seldom get to choose our traps.  I always marvel at those morbidly wealthy individuals who are stuck at that extreme and never leave it.  What it does to them.  To say nothing of what it does to everyone else.  What kind of emotional perversion can cause one to want to be a multi-billionaire and keep making more?  What has to happen to a human being to cause such void of insatiability?  Mind boggling.    

 

I got extremely drunk 3 times in my life.  The last time when I was 19.  My two best friends became alcoholics, but even though we were exploring together, it proved to not have been one of my traps.  (Doesn't mean I avoided others though.  But we seldom get to choose...)  

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16 hours ago, Bindi said:


Regarding how dealing with emotions results in spiritual growth, it’s complex and I don’t have all the answers, but some parts of it I understand. 
 

Stored emotional and mental ‘complexes’ (to borrow a useful term from psychoanalysis) exist in each dantian which is somewhat equivalent to saying there are three granthis or knots (in the same positions as the dantians) in the human body

 

And psychologically ;  3 basic drives  (  that the complexes relate to ) .

 

 

16 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

granthis are considered to be energetic or psychic blocks that prevent Prana from rising up through Sushumna Nadi, so this is the problem, and emotional work untangles these knots one by one, starting from the lower dantian. 

 

In Hermetics, these 'knots'   are on 7 levels that relate to each planets energy .

 

 

 

16 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

Yoga mentions Prana as rising up through Sushumna Nadi, I can’t help thinking consciousness rides on this Prana, by which I mean to say to my understanding consciousness also rises over time from the lower dantian until it reaches the 7th chakra. Where the 7th chakra is, is disputable. 

 

Ahh ....   7 levels .

 

 

16 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

The ‘immortal foetus’ is not so difficult to birth in the lower dantian once emotional work is started, to me it is a spontaneous and early event in the lower dantian, but nurturing this subtle matter and raising it are hard and not possible I think without guidance. 

edit to add: Mixing traditions outrageously it’s like resting awareness on the sacral chakra and feeling the feeling there, which simply responds by birthing the subtle level of yin and yang in the beginning of internal work. The sacral chakra or second chakra is located two inches below the navel, and is represented by the color orange. This chakra governs emotions, creativity, sensitivity, sexuality, intimacy, emotional well-being, and self-expression, and is associated with the element of water. 
 

 

 

I think that the more these levels are worked through the more 'emotional stability' one has .

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16 hours ago, freeform said:

I’m enjoying this thread a lot.

 

I find it interesting because we’re instinctually touching on important points.

 

@Apech made a point about two contradictory directions or goals and @Bindi mentioned Shen Ming - these things are very much interrelated.

 

Regarding the dichotomy of stripping away and creating. Daoism is actually one of the few paths that I know of that aims to do both. This is the nature of the Xing-Ming path.


The thing is - how can you strip away, while also creating - these seem like opposing forces.

 

The Daoist answer is Wei Wu Wei.
 

It works through cause and effect - we create the cause then allow the effect to come about spontaneously.

 

Ming involves generating huge amounts of Qi... Xing involves stripping away anything that’s not our true nature... The early result is the light of Shen Ming - not emptiness. For Shen Ming to arise we need several causes to be in place - and these are Ming related (Qi) and Xing related (stillness)... the result is the light of Shen Ming - not emptiness (this is considered a major error).

 

Alchemy then absorbs into the light of Shen Ming to find its essence (form within the formless)... it plucks the essence from the formless and uses it as one of the alchemical ingredients...

 

How do emotions fit in? They’re the coloured lights - refracted (distorted) from the light of  your original spirit... as refracted light they are not your original self (but very close) and they manifest as the 5 virtues... as they ‘solidify’ (away from light and towards form) more and more - they become the various channels and organ spirits and on the level of your heart-mind, they become the emotions (quite far from your original self).

 

The emotions are the muddied, contrived and convoluted manifestation of the 5 lights or 5 virtues. And the 5 lights are the refracted/distorted light of your original spirit - Yuan Shen. And Shen Ming is the light of the original spirit.
 

The emotions in my tradition are not considered important - we can’t work with them directly because they get you mired in their own drama... So we work on a slightly deeper level - on the level of Qi.

 

You can get a hint of how Asian traditions see emotion by how different their artwork is to Western art... western art is all about drama - the highs and lows of emotion... Eastern art tends to be about calm and equanimity - nature, the divine.


Coincidentally I posted these verses today that refer to both Shen Ming arriving and cleansing the heart-mind. 
 

 

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23 hours ago, freeform said:

I’m enjoying this thread a lot.

 

I find it interesting because we’re instinctually touching on important points.

 

@Apech made a point about two contradictory directions or goals and @Bindi mentioned Shen Ming - these things are very much interrelated.

 

Regarding the dichotomy of stripping away and creating. Daoism is actually one of the few paths that I know of that aims to do both. This is the nature of the Xing-Ming path.
 

---

 

The two goals do appear contradictory - but I think they are actually complementary - or even sometimes sequential.  Without wishing to be boring about Ancient Egypt they had two goals - one of witnessing (the sunrise) and the other of becoming an 'effective being' = an immortal spirit.  Generally speaking they are presented as being sequential - i.e. first witness and then become.  But in actuality the path is always some becoming and some seeing, followed by some seeing and some becoming if you see what I mean.  Or you could say you can't become without some degree of insight and can't have true insight without some transformation.

 

In terms of blockages I think you could say there are two main types.  One is a restriction or opposition to flow and the other is clouds of confusion.  Blocks of energy and blocks of insight.  I would, in terms of Dan Tiens and wotnot place them either in the Dan Tien or at the intersections.  So for instance the energy blocks (restrictions) are at base of spine, solar plexus, and throat/neck.  While the clouds (or even storms) are located in the centre of the Dan Tiens i.e. belly, heart, head ... and if you add another cloud above the head you get your seven obstacles.  Each of the blocks requires a different strategy/approach to over come - and one big mistake everyone makes is to try to apply the same remedies to all.  For instance dealing with the base of spine is quite different to easing the neck.

 

This is more or less how I experience it from energy work meditation but I am no expert in the intricacies of the Nei Dan process.

 

I think that looking at this technically is important - but often what is overlooked is that it is all emotional energy.

 

 

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Here's a little sketch of my tradition's understanding of the place that emotions have in our mental makeup.

 

The emotions are known as the 5 poisons.

 

7 hours ago, Apech said:

often what is overlooked is that it is all emotional energy.

 

Well emotions are part of the manifestation of the '5 lights' that make up existence at both the macro and microcosmic level... But they're definitely not at the root - and are considered to be quite a few layers of distortion out from the pure expression of the 5 lights.

 

The 5 lights go through a very specific step by step process of distortion - and emotions are the mental manifestations of that process. They're known as the 5 poisons, because indulging in them is considered to move you further from one's original state of virtue, and it gets you further and further entangled in the Daoist equivalent of Karma.

 

The alchemical process involves 'returning the 5 spirits to their origin' - a kind of reversal from the outward manifestation of the emotions back to the pure virtues and then back to you Yuan Shen...

 

When one's actions originate from the 'emotional' aspect, they are known as the vulgar people... when one's actions originate from the De, the pure undistorted virtues, they are known as Shengren - or sages... when one's actions originate from Yuan Shen or Original Spirit, they are known as Zhenren - or enlightened.

Untitled_Artwork.jpg

Edited by freeform
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On 10/17/2020 at 11:18 PM, Bindi said:

Regarding how dealing with emotions results in spiritual growth, it’s complex and I don’t have all the answers, but some parts of it I understand. 
 

Stored emotional and mental ‘complexes’ (to borrow a useful term from psychoanalysis) exist in each dantian which is somewhat equivalent to saying there are three granthis or knots (in the same positions as the dantians) in the human body. The granthis are considered to be energetic or psychic blocks that prevent Prana from rising up through Sushumna Nadi, so this is the problem, and emotional work untangles these knots one by one, starting from the lower dantian. 

Granthis don’t really have much to do with emotions, but rather to attachments.

 

Spoiler

Brahma granthi functions in the region of mooladhara chakra. It implies attachment to physical pleasures, material objects and excessive selfishness. It also implies the ensnaring power of tamas - negativity, lethargy and ignorance.

Vishnu granthi operates in the region of anahata chakra. It is associated with the bondage of emotional attachment and attachment to people and inner psychic visions. It is connected with rajas - the tendency towards passion, ambition and assertiveness.

Rudra granthi functions in the region of ajna chakra. It is associated with attachment to siddhis, psychic phenomena and the concept of ourselves as individuals. One must surrender the sense of individual ego and transcend duality to make further spiritual progress.

On 10/17/2020 at 11:18 PM, Bindi said:


Yoga mentions Prana as rising up through Sushumna Nadi, I can’t help thinking consciousness rides on this Prana, by which I mean to say to my understanding consciousness also rises over time from the lower dantian until it reaches the 7th chakra. Where the 7th chakra is, is disputable.

Consciousness doesn’t ride on prana. Prana is a phenomenon that is illuminated in the light to consciousness. Prana and the mind have a relation, since the mind is fueled by prana. The more still and clear your mind is, the more pure and balanced your prana is (and vice versa). The mind is not consciousness, nor is the mind conscious. It simply is a mechanism via which consciousness functions. 

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On 10/18/2020 at 7:11 AM, freeform said:

 

 

You can get a hint of how Asian traditions see emotion by how different their artwork is to Western art... western art is all about drama - the highs and lows of emotion... Eastern art tends to be about calm and equanimity - nature, the divine.

Spoiler

akl_ma_kali.jpg

For Asian Arts, I'd say less human drama, but plenty of drama none the less (PS. That is a painting made my grandfather) :) 

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40 minutes ago, dwai said:
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akl_ma_kali.jpg

For Asian Arts, I'd say less human drama, but plenty of drama none the less (PS. That is a painting made my grandfather) :) 

 

Makes me wonder how he felt about your grandmother.  :ph34r:

:)

 

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8 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

 

Makes me wonder how he felt about your grandmother.  :ph34r:

:)

 

MY grandma was the gentlest and sweetest of  souls. So was my grandpa :) 

But I guess we all do contain an element of danger within us ;) 

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I’ve been reading this topic with interest. It’s a great comfort for me to hear discussion circling around the essence of the type of practice that’s central to my life. Much has been mentioned that I could follow up on, however due to my own energy restraints I’ll limit myself to what for me is a central theme: 

 

The term ‘shen ming’ has many associations in Daoism. The usage that most interests me is Shen Ming as bright spirits. These sun-like ‘shining ones’, mentioned in the mythologies of many cultures, have what seems to we humans as infinite compassion and wisdom. They can be felt ‘inside’ but have an objective existence of their own and live in realms of subtler energies. 

 

Beginning with the Neiye, various Daoist writings suggests they will come to us if we cleanse our heart-minds. Perhaps this is true. I’d say it’s a mystery why they make themselves known to some people but not others. The Shen Ming choose, not us. They are definitely not at our beck and call. 

 

The Shen Ming do not want us to worship them, nor do they want dependence. They reveal glimpses of themselves only to show their existence. They may give us guidance when absolutely necessary but mostly leave us to find our own way. It’s like they’re there but always just out of reach. Hence, their presence feels like it’s always receding. 

 

What the Shen Ming want is for people who are on this path of shen ming realisation is for each of us to cultivate ourselves so that the seed of our own unique Shen Ming will find suitable nourishment to germinate and grow within us. That germinated seed is known as the Golden Embryo or Golden Elixir. Once grown to maturity our Shen Ming can leave the womb of our body and exist independently in the realm where other Shen Ming live. I suspect this happens at the time of bodily death for those rare few who succeed with such profound cultivation.

 

But our embryonic Shen Ming can only grow to maturity in so much as we are able to nourish it with the pure essence of the wisdom (xing) we’ve gained through a thorough engagement with life. Without this hard-won wisdom essence – a wisdom that’s been emptied of ego and desire; this profound compassion born of a lifetime’s struggle – we would have nothing to offer the realm of the Shen Ming. Working with qi alone can never give us this but it can give us a solid basis (ming) from which to proceed in our engagement with life.  
 

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

Granthis don’t really have much to do with emotions, but rather to attachments.


 


 

Rudra granthi seems the most about attachment to me and the least about emotion, associated as it is with attachment to siddhis, psychic phenomena and the concept of ourselves as individuals. 
 

I like this more emotional perspective on the first two though:

 

“The first, Brahma granthi knot of creation, prevents the energy of kundalini shakti, the great creative power, from being released and traveling on to swadhisthana. This knot creates fears around safety and security and ‘propagation of the species’. Vishnu granthi ‘knots’ the shakti energy flowing from manipura chakra causing you to feel less powerful than you are in reality. This insecurity is felt in anahata chakra and hinders its full expression of true love.“

 

https://celiaroberts.com.au/emotional-anatomy-interview-with-swami-mukti/

 

Quote

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Brahma granthi functions in the region of mooladhara chakra. It implies attachment to physical pleasures, material objects and excessive selfishness. It also implies the ensnaring power of tamas - negativity, lethargy and ignorance.

Vishnu granthi operates in the region of anahata chakra. It is associated with the bondage of emotional attachment and attachment to people and inner psychic visions. It is connected with rajas - the tendency towards passion, ambition and assertiveness.

Rudra granthi functions in the region of ajna chakra. It is associated with attachment to siddhis, psychic phenomena and the concept of ourselves as individuals. One must surrender the sense of individual ego and transcend duality to make further spiritual progress.

Consciousness doesn’t ride on prana. Prana is a phenomenon that is illuminated in the light to consciousness. Prana and the mind have a relation, since the mind is fueled by prana. The more still and clear your mind is, the more pure and balanced your prana is (and vice versa). The mind is not consciousness, nor is the mind conscious. It simply is a mechanism via which consciousness functions. 


I‘m not restricting myself to one traditions concepts, I was just saying how it seems to me. Perhaps I’m more aligned in my thinking with Buddhist Tantra and Yoga which asserts “the channels (rtsa) are tunnels for circulation of the subtle winds (rlung) and consciousness (sems).“ 




 

 

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