Nuralshamal

Experiences with sexual qigong and daoist lovemaking

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Dear friends,

In other threads I've already shared many of my personal experiences (I'll link these below).

What I'm looking for now is to exchange experiences, information, teachers, herbs, mantras, mudras, methods etc. in this area.

I would really love to hear your stories, your experiences, about your teachers and their methods.

It's quite a controversial topic, but it's also quite an interesting topic ;)

Here are the links to my former threads:

In this thread I've shared many of my personal experiences with this somewhat controversial topic: 



I've shared a bit more personal experiences in the second post here: 

 

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This thread hasn't really taken off :D 

So let me share just a few stories with the hope of getting this started.

What my sexual qigong teacher taught me is summarised in the word "feeling". You need to "feel". He just keeps repeating that one word forever and ever, and it's up to you to figure out what it means. What does it mean to "feel"?

It's extremely simple to understand, yet takes dedicated practice to master.

It means putting your full and unwavering attention/awareness on your sense inputs.

Put ALL your attention/awareness into the sensation of touch, while touching your beloved.

Put ALL your attention/awareness into your lips while kissing the lips of your beloved.

Put ALL your attention/awareness into your sexual organ while uniting with your beloved.

This kind of training makes you able to "meditate" on your sensations, as you experience them.

Furthermore, it gets you into full contact with your body.

Later, you can sense all together, e.g. your lips kissing, your hands caressing, your hips grinding and even your legs and feet caressing. In the beginning you feel like a circus monkey trying to emploay all of your body mindfully, but with training you feel like a master sensei of foreplay ;)

If you keep on practicing, you can go to extreme level of skill.

Practice really tasting your food with your tongue, practice really smelling the flowers in the house, practice really listening to the wind or the waves of the ocean. You can practice all day everyday, from waking to going to bed. Being aware, being present, and "feeling" everything that happens to you.

When you master feeling, alongside strengthening your qi through qigong and meditation, you will actually infuse every part of your body with extra qi when you put your attention there.

E.g. you kiss someone's lips with full awareness, they will be blown away. They can't explain it, but they will feel something they never felt before. It's like a hidden weapon, hitting them out of nowhere, knocking their socks of and taking them into a world of pleasure they didn't know existed.

It can make someone instantly fall in deep love with you, just from your gaze, from a hug, or from a kiss. Not to mention when you seal the deal and start making love! Simply because you "feel" what you're doing. 

They will never have felt something like that before.

If you later develop the ability of seeing auras and energies, you can go to a new level of skill in lovemaking. Now, there's no more guess work where you need to "go next" to make her cum.

When you touch her, kiss her, lick her, make love to her, and you do it with full feeling, suddenly different parts of her body will "light up". For some reason, the energy will go to different places, perceived as small spots of light or energy. If you simply follow along, and caress these energy points as they appear, you will easily make her orgasm intensely, and very quickly.

It takes all the complicated away from lovemaking, and makes it easy, natural and enjoyable.

If you have some concrete personal stories or tricks, feel free to share them :D

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Sensory pleasure is one of those things that’s very intoxicating for people… 

 

From a Daoist alchemical pov focusing on sensual pleasure is moving in the opposite direction from spirit.

 

The Hun and the Po are the two aspects of one’s soul… The Po is the temporary, earthly aspect that is always keen on sensory experience… on ownership… control of the physical… creation of an identity.

 

But this takes away from the immortal aspect of the soul which is hiding within the Hun… and so by following the whims of the Po, people become ensnared by their senses and their attachment to self.

 

The process of ‘sealing the senses’ is an essential aspect of the early foundation for alchemical training. So doing the opposite… stimulating the senses and the desires and one’s sense of self - this basically creates one of the biggest ‘leakages’ for qi.

 

And this is all before touching on the concept of base desires and how focusing on sexuality will affect the Jing… but that we’ve already talked about at length :) 

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On 11/6/2022 at 11:38 AM, Nuralshamal said:

What my sexual qigong teacher taught me is summarised in the word "feeling". You need to "feel". He just keeps repeating that one word forever and ever, and it's up to you to figure out what it means. What does it mean to "feel"?

It's extremely simple to understand, yet takes dedicated practice to master.

 

On 11/6/2022 at 11:38 AM, Nuralshamal said:

Practice really tasting your food with your tongue, practice really smelling the flowers in the house, practice really listening to the wind or the waves of the ocean. You can practice all day everyday, from waking to going to bed. Being aware, being present, and "feeling" everything that happens to you.

When you master feeling, alongside strengthening your qi through qigong and meditation, you will actually infuse every part of your body with extra qi when you put your attention there.

This is really solid. All the exotic stuff about special techniques positions or circulating energy or whatever are just so much chatter, but actually feeling, actually listening (what a sex expert I really like calls "listenting with your body"), that's a complete game changer, in so many things in life.

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12 hours ago, freeform said:

Sensory pleasure is one of those things that’s very intoxicating for people… 

 

From a Daoist alchemical pov focusing on sensual pleasure is moving in the opposite direction from spirit.

And yet, applying ting during loving sex in a committed relationship has some benefit to some aspect of one's overall being, no?  Perhaps it won't help you move closer to spirit, but your lineage is not celibate, so it is seen that there is some benefit to such a partnership? 

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7 hours ago, Creation said:

And yet, applying ting during loving sex in a committed relationship has some benefit to some aspect of one's overall being, no?  Perhaps it won't help you move closer to spirit, but your lineage is not celibate, so it is seen that there is some benefit to such a partnership? 

 

What he’s describing isn’t ting.

For me personally - no, I couldn’t focus in on the point of contact because that could strongly interfere with my partner’s Qi flow and cause issues.


Being fully present and aware on all levels, anchored and with a loving connection is the attitude. When there’s a deep connection, the bliss comes not from sensory experience but from a connection on a whole different level.
 

Yes this advice is certainly better than trying to squeeze semen up your spine into your head (I’d be surprised if that wasn’t part of the teachers repertoire).
 

But as ‘sexual qigong’, does it build qi or benefit the energy body? I mean it’s certainly better than the average porn-infused sex many people are having… But if you’re not moving closer to spirit, you’re moving in the other direction. 
 

If you really ting - at a deeper level - not on the sensory or body level then uniting with your partner can happen on a ‘soul level’…

 

What builds is not sensual pleasure but blissful love.

 

Probably not what you want as a sex guru with lots of partners though!

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Are you guys even having sex?

Plus, did you even read my post?

You're clearly projecting your prior understanding and prejudices about the subject onto me, instead of actually reading what I'm saying.

Sex is a normal part of life, just like eating, drinking, sleeping and showering.

By eating healthy food, taking care of sleep and hygiene, we're using our everyday activites to strengthen our health. This supports us and our journey.

Sex is the same. We're all doing it anyway, you might as well do it in a proper way.

I'm very surprised at how negatively predujiced you are against sex, yet I bet you're also having sex with the one you love. How is making love a negative experience, bad for your spirituality? It's not, it's the opposite. Having great sex is similar to having great food. It's healthy, it's strengthens you: your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies are strengthened by doing what is natural. Sex is the most natural thing, without it, we wouldn't even be here. Neither would you.

Everything I'm sharing in every single post is from experience. I tried it, I tested it, I lived it. Only then did I make up my mind about these things. You're ideologizing, I'm actually exchanging experiences in order to benefit myself and others, hoping to learn and grow from the experiences of others. You're not sharing any experiences, you're just saying that what you do is right, what I do is wrong. It's not nuanced, it's black and white, no one can grow from reading it. It's just judgement, it's not exchange of experiences resulting in mutual growth.

This is the feeling I get from your posts. Black/white judgement, empty theory, jumping to conclusions on the base of zero experience. It feels like ideologizing, not a scientific exchange of experience.

Feel free to come in with some actual life experienes, what did you live, what did you experience, what did these experiences lead you to conclude? This is a scientific mindset, this is a daoist mindset. The daoists observed nature, then after observation and experience, they concluded. Take me along your reasoning process, experiences and observations, don't just give me your conclusion. If you don't take me along the reasoning process, you're not giving me a chance of understanding why you come to these conclusions.

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1 hour ago, Nuralshamal said:

Are you guys even having sex?

Plus, did you even read my post?

You're clearly projecting your prior understanding and prejudices about the subject onto me, instead of actually reading what I'm saying.


Sex is a normal part of life, just like eating, drinking, sleeping and showering.

By eating healthy food, taking care of sleep and hygiene, we're using our everyday activites to strengthen our health. This supports us and our journey.

Sex is the same. We're all doing it anyway, you might as well do it in a proper way.

I'm very surprised at how negatively predujiced you are against sex, yet I bet you're also having sex with the one you love. How is making love a negative experience, bad for your spirituality? It's not, it's the opposite. Having great sex is similar to having great food. It's healthy, it's strengthens you: your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies are strengthened by doing what is natural. Sex is the most natural thing, without it, we wouldn't even be here. Neither would you.

Everything I'm sharing in every single post is from experience. I tried it, I tested it, I lived it. Only then did I make up my mind about these things. You're ideologizing, I'm actually exchanging experiences in order to benefit myself and others, hoping to learn and grow from the experiences of others. You're not sharing any experiences, you're just saying that what you do is right, what I do is wrong. It's not nuanced, it's black and white, no one can grow from reading it. It's just judgement, it's not exchange of experiences resulting in mutual growth.

This is the feeling I get from your posts. Black/white judgement, empty theory, jumping to conclusions on the base of zero experience. It feels like ideologizing, not a scientific exchange of experience.
Feel free to come in with some actual life experienes, what did you live, what did you experience, what did these experiences lead you to conclude? This is a scientific mindset, this is a daoist mindset. The daoists observed nature, then after observation and experience, they concluded. Take me along your reasoning process, experiences and observations, don't just give me your conclusion. If you don't take me along the reasoning process, you're not giving me a chance of understanding why you come to these conclusions.

 

The crux of the matter is this to be entirely honest

 

2 hours ago, freeform said:

But if you’re not moving closer to spirit, you’re moving in the other direction. 

 

You may not see the attachment in your words, but for someone who understands the principles of cultivation (At even a basic level), you may not realise what you are talking about is the polar opposite of what they are hoping to achieve

 

Things like alchemy and the likes (proper cultivation aimed at moving towards spirit) , requires desire to be extinguished.

 

This is not limited to sex, and it is not up for debate.

 

If this doesn't happen you are meeting a brick wall in terms of progress.

 

If you want a real approach to sex and spirituality that is harmonious with progress and healthy, then it is actually away from pleasurable sensation you need to move.

 

In this case as freeform mentioned, you must go beyond the senses, not  constantly dive deep into them

 

Contrast that with your opening post about immersing yourself in the sense faculties

 

They don't mix

 

So it isn't that anyone's prejudice or judging, its telling you that your approach is not in line with spiritual teachings.

 

Anyone selling you that story is selling you a lie (unsurprisingly

 

Also as a caveat, if you do have extra qi built, you can actually hurt someone pretty bad if you don't understand the concept of keeping you emotions calm. You may be surprised to learn that the lower base animal instinct emerges during the physical act of sex...and with that, a serious degradation in terms of emotional regulation. This is where the hair pulling, choking, biting and dominance come to the forefront

 

Might be something to ponder

Edited by Shadow_self
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3 hours ago, Nuralshamal said:

what did you experience


As a naturally creative person who loves life and beauty, I was always into sensory stimulation.

 

Delicious foods, nice clothes, great design, nicely made tools and products… I was into sex, soft drugs, music, amazing experiences, beautiful nature, beautiful people… all this sort of sensory exploration.

 

When I got into internal training I was told that this is harmful - but how could indulging in beauty and pleasure be harmful when it feels so good and so satisfying!? 
 

So I carried on - I stopped taking drugs and stuff like that - but pleasure and hedonism was definitely central to my way of living still.

 

And with extra qi from practice, I noticed that I could affect sexual partners to a great degree. By doing stuff like focusing my awareness and using my intent, I could set off orgasms even with non-sexual touch… I could set off spontaneous movements and Yang qi mobilisation in my partners…

 

And of course this fed both my hunger for sensual delights as well as my ego (look at me and my prowess!).

 

I noticed a change in my partner at the time… not a positive one - I assumed it was just old wounds clearing through… that the emotional instability, wild moods, obsessive behaviours were all just signs of ‘clearing’ and progress. (It wasn’t).

 

Luckily (for my partner) at this point I had found a very good teacher who required that I go for a lengthy retreat… so our relationship came to an end.

 

This retreat involved hardship… not much was pleasurable… the food was bland (no salt, spices, fats) - and we were always a little bit hungry even after eating… the bed was a plank… it was cold and wet at times and stiflingly hot at other times… the training was brutal… we’d be purposely made to train in extreme environments… we’d sit in smelly noisy environments for hours… or train under a sheet metal roof that was painted black to make the space beneath extremely hot. Crocodile crawls in the mud… sleeping amongst spiders, roaches and mice… only cold showers etc etc

 

There were no breaks… no media… cooking was a chore, getting water was a chore, keeping yourself and your clothes clean and mended was a chore… the toilet was nasty etc etc.

 

I thought this was all done either to toughen us up or coz the teacher was cheap (or a bit of both). I wanted to quit all the time - particularly when I had injuries and was still made to train…

 

But I didn’t quit - and what happened was that after almost a year of this torture, something inside started to change. Brief glimpses at first - but eventually it became constant.

 

A profound sense of well-being and satisfaction - despite the hardships and the constant pain of training and all the injuries and discomfort.

 

Everything felt easy and beautiful and satisfactory not because it conformed to my preference but just because it was.

 

I was always scared of injury… but this change meant that I no longer cared… even if I lost my leg - it would just another step on the path. (Or rather another hop on the path 😅)

 

My training also started to transform. I was no longer dreading the discomfort. The discomfort never stopped - I just stopped fixating on it. I just felt a deep acceptance of everything that happened or didn’t happen. The seemingly impossible methods started to actually work for me.

 

I began to be able to access various inner states that I thought people were just imagining or talking up. I began to generate qi to a level I thought impossible… and none of this impacted on my ego - coz I didn’t really care about having it or not having it - I would just accept what comes.

 

This state would vary over the next 10yrs or so - sometimes very much at the forefront - other times it would recede. But these days it’s close to permanent except for once in a while when I’m moved off-centre.

 

Its only with my current teacher that I learned the mechanism that sits beneath this transformation - and it’s what I explained above about the Hun and Po.

 

How does this relate to sex?
 

For me it’s no longer about giving or receiving pleasure… it’s become more like a natural, physical expression of a much deeper connection. This connection is far more profound and blissful in a way that goes beyond the self - and I’ve had my fair share of pleasurable experiences to compare this with. Completely different. What happens physically actually matters very little.

 

So yes - any internal practice that’s designed to heighten sensory or hedonistic pleasure moves in exactly the opposite trajectory to the transformation above… even if it’s well-meaning and wholesome it’s trajectory is destined to lead to attachment and deeper entanglement with the base aspect of self - instead of freedom and a movement towards the higher aspects of self.

 

And I’ve seen this happening in pretty much every school or system that focuses on hedonistic and sensual pleasure. Time after time. 
 

Anything that’s based around pleasure invariably tries to fill a deep inner dissatisfaction.

 

I’m not saying this is wrong. Following this path of beauty (particularly when it’s less sex-focused) creates a cornucopia of culture and art and music and beauty and exquisite smells and tastes and so on…

 

But it’s not a path of cultivation.
 

We’ll justify anything to have our cake and eat it too. Just as a drug addict justifies their pleasure seeking behaviour. That’s why people equate sexual pleasure with cultivation…

Edited by freeform
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6 minutes ago, freeform said:

any internal practice that’s designed to heighten sensory or hedonistic pleasure moves in exactly the opposite trajectory to the transformation above… even if it’s well-meaning and wholesome it’s trajectory is destined to lead to attachment and deeper entanglement with the base aspect of self

 

 

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13 minutes ago, freeform said:

We’ll justify anything to have our cake and eat it too

 

This x 1000

 

Problem: I wish i could be spiritual but I like sex

 

Proposed pretend solution: I know, I can have spiritual sex

 

This is the actual type of crap people will say and do.

 

Anything to justify what they want

 

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Actual solution: Challenge desires and rise above them

 

But nobody wants to do the hard work.

 

Why do that when you can just orgasm your way to to the top of the mountain

 

There isnt enough palms and faces on the planet :/ 

 

 

 

 

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There’s a reason why all religions have rules around sex and sexual conduct…

 

Of course they are flawed in many ways - and completely detached from the true original purpose… but all spiritual systems at some point in time knew that sex and hedonism has a way of leading us away from God.

 

Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth… these are the seven deadly sins in Christianity, right?

 

They’re also very much related to the base desires of Daoism… it’s not an accident :) 

 

Lust, greed, gluttony and sloth - all related to hedonic impulse… pleasure… comfort… consumption…
 

Pride, envy, wrath and greed (again) related to the status-seeking impulse… power… control… dominance…

 

Nowadays, most religions are simply mimicry of the original spiritual practice, of course I don’t agree with their methods of control!

 

I don’t think anyone should be forced into spirituality anyway!

 

But it’s not that people in the past were just prudes and now us modern, smart and enlightened ones suddenly have a far better understanding of the situation.

 

They made these distinctions originally as an aid to spiritual growth… only later it devolved into a tool for control and judgement.

 

And nowadays - in the upside down times - these 7 sins are the bedrock of our culture… look at Instagram and every one of these sins is fully embraced, glamourised and promoted… 

 

To most normal people it’s weird, foreign and old-fashioned to consider sex and pleasure-seeking as not desirable… as not central to leading a good life… and so everyone always argues with me about it… upside down times breed upside down notions :)  

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1 hour ago, freeform said:

A profound sense of well-being and satisfaction - despite the hardships and the constant pain of training and all the injuries and discomfort. 

 

There is a well known mental health principle related to discomfort tolerance. Typically, the higher one's tolerance, the more calm and mental strength the person has. Of course, it must be a soft, open tolerance, rather than a constriction or a hardening. In Ancient Stoic philosophy, this was known as eudaimonia. In Buddhism, of course this is equanimity. 

 

This is likely one of the motivating reasons behind the modern (esp in the US) mental health crisis--- the easier life and more comfortable life gets, the less toleration people tend to have to even minor discomforts. It gets even worse when people get medication that removes such discomforts completely and never really get to train their discomfort muscles. 

 

Fortunately, this skill can be trained, even in every day, day to day environments, and can be learned by anyone.

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On 11/7/2022 at 5:39 AM, freeform said:

Sensory pleasure is one of those things that’s very intoxicating for people… 

 

From a Daoist alchemical pov focusing on sensual pleasure is moving in the opposite direction from spirit.

 

The Hun and the Po are the two aspects of one’s soul… The Po is the temporary, earthly aspect that is always keen on sensory experience… on ownership… control of the physical… creation of an identity.

 

But this takes away from the immortal aspect of the soul which is hiding within the Hun… and so by following the whims of the Po, people become ensnared by their senses and their attachment to self.

 

 

Are you saying this is a binary choice -- either go down the troubled road of the po or get on Hun Highway?  This doesn't comport with my experience.  Many people report touching in with something ineffable or transcendent while gazing at a sunset, losing themselves in a painting, relishing a masterfully assembled taco or yes, touching a lover.  Sensual pleasure, far from being a distraction or detour, can be a gateway to the spiritual dimension of life.  Something experienced on the outside through the senses triggers an inner awareness.  

 

Of course people do, as you say, become ensnared by the senses as well.  There's a word for that ensnaring process: addiction.  Addiction happens when people attempt to fill a perceived hole in their inner being with stuff from the outside; it doesn't work and causes a lot of pain.  But here's the thing -- addiction isn't pleasurable.  The food addict stuffing his face with cake isn't savoring the subtle flavor;  the sex addict bedding woman after woman every night isn't having "fun."  Don't let them tell you otherwise.  Addiction is one thing and honest pleasure quite another.

 

For those, like yourself, engaged in a program of alchemical transformation, I'm sure there are phases where it's important to turn away from the external, to eat bland food or fast, sit long hours in a dark room.  Asceticisim is valid too.  But for others, some of life's most transportive moments come from engagement with the senses.

 

(Further edit: Just went back and read your very interesting post about your retreat experience.  Gotta say that I agree that hardship, suffering, and pain can also be gateways to spiritual transformation -- even if I'm not ready to give up on art and beauty and pleasure just yet.  Fortunately, most lives have plenty of suffering built in.)

Edited by liminal_luke
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My Buddhist friend had a post about this topic I feel would be nice to share in this context: 

 

"The first I want to say is that this is a delicate matter and very prone to misunderstanding. Many people who have read tons of spiritual information already have a conception in their mind. I ask of you to pour it all away. 

 

The first message you must understand is this: What you suppress, you impress. 

 

One who has sex freely, thinks less of sex than one who forcibly represses sex. When one represses lust, it is like stuffing the mess of clothes into the cupboard. When one day, the cupboard gives way, the mess pours back in. You cannot block the light of the sun with your palm. 

 

There are many reasons for having a heightened sexuality, and this must be explored. In a past lifetime, you may have taken a powerful vow of celibacy, or perhaps been traumatized in a certain manner. That is one possibility. A more recent possibility is that modern society is hyper-sexualized and as all things exist in polarity, its opposite, sex shaming has also risen. 

 

You see sex-shaming especially in religious institutes and places where the practice is not right. This results in all the news about supposedly-religious people succumbing to sexual misconduct.

 

Sex is perfectly natural.

 

It is a beautiful way for nature to produce more of its organisms. It has such power - to pull a being into a body and generate a life. It is sacred and close to the Divine.

 

However, the problem comes when one becomes addicted to it.

 

One who has transcended lust is immensely interested in sex. However, this one is also immensely interested in everything else. The stars, the moon, the Sun, the trees, the people around him, the bugs crawling in the earth - they are a reflection of the wondrous, beautiful cosmos. One who is above lust, is one who no longer sees lust as the solution to one's satisfaction.

 

This is a great difference from forced suppression.

 

Yes, there are energetic costs to losing sperm, especially for a male. Losing one drop of semen is like losing blood. The power contained within to produce a life is as such. There is no doubt about it.

 

However, to suppress one's lust is wrong. To shame oneself out of sex is also not the way. To control, restrict - This is only the way of one who does not understand the dharma.

 

Even the Buddha himself, as he sat under the Bodhi tree, encountered the temptation of Mara's most beautiful women. Have you asked yourself why most sages talk about this temptation? It is because through the Buddha's asceticism, he suppressed this desire - and it has surfaced as an subconscious desire.

 

To understand why sex is so addictive, you must firstly understand exactly why it gives one so much bliss.

 

Orgasm is the very cause. What exactly, is orgasm? In orgasm, one's mind suddenly stops. At the point of time, one is unbounded by time and space. At that point, one sheds the ego, together with one's partner. At that one point, man reverts to nature, and all facades, appearances and self-deception disappears.

 

However, orgasm ends - because the very nature of it is that the ego continues its clutches. Attachment resumes.

 

Thoughts come back in. Having a taste of this blissfulness, one craves it.

 

In true jhana, one tastes exactly this blissfulness. This is because it is the same - one is unbounded by space and time, giving rise to one-pointedness. Ego is shed. Facades fade to nature. One becomes innocent.

 

So do not go down the wrong route of suppressing sex without understanding why it is so. One who has transcended lust is one who embraces everything - everything reminds that one of the Divine - emptiness - the void.

 

If you treat your partner with selfless care, with non-addiction, with respect, love and care, then sex is perfectly wholesome. If you want to have sex, then have sex the right way. However, you must understand the energetic costs of doing so. That is all. If you have sex, do not lie that you are cultivating your energy for higher purposes - it is very simple. Be honest with yourself. It is better to be honest than to lie to oneself and push it into a repression.

 

It is not repression, but an embracing of everything else, and the understanding of why sex can be blissful.

 

Then you can understand how this connection to the Divine, this blissfulness, can be sought in one's meditation.

 

Sex is a connection of the sacral chakra between two partners. However, true tantra is when one connects all the chakras - not just the sacral chakra - and both partners are purified and capable of eliminating blockages within the energetic body. It is a highly sacred art that is not easily mastered - only possible by guidance of a master.

 

Allow yourself free expression, with careful investigation of oneself. When the Buddha said - "Speak truthfully", what did he mean? 

 

When all the masters talk about not even letting lust arise in the mind - it is this understanding.

 

It is not repression. It is the natural state of being one with all. It is the freedom from afflictions and addictions.

 

It is spontaneity in the Tao."

Edited by anshino23
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3 hours ago, freeform said:

There’s a reason why all religions have rules around sex and sexual conduct…

 

Of course they are flawed in many ways - and completely detached from the true original purpose… but all spiritual systems at some point in time knew that sex and hedonism has a way of leading us away from God.

 

Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth… these are the seven deadly sins in Christianity, right?

 

They’re also very much related to the base desires of Daoism… it’s not an accident :) 

 

Lust, greed, gluttony and sloth - all related to hedonic impulse… pleasure… comfort… consumption…
 

Pride, envy, wrath and greed (again) related to the status-seeking impulse… power… control… dominance…

 

Nowadays, most religions are simply mimicry of the original spiritual practice, of course I don’t agree with their methods of control!

 

I don’t think anyone should be forced into spirituality anyway!

 

But it’s not that people in the past were just prudes and now us modern, smart and enlightened ones suddenly have a far better understanding of the situation.

 

They made these distinctions originally as an aid to spiritual growth… only later it devolved into a tool for control and judgement.

 

And nowadays - in the upside down times - these 7 sins are the bedrock of our culture… look at Instagram and every one of these sins is fully embraced, glamourised and promoted… 

 

To most normal people it’s weird, foreign and old-fashioned to consider sex and pleasure-seeking as not desirable… as not central to leading a good life… and so everyone always argues with me about it… upside down times breed upside down notions :)  

 

This is a very well written post, I enjoy the perspective and relation to Christianity.

 

Interestingly, I actually go to that same thing to describe spirituality to people

 

Unfortunately its often lost on them that the spiritual path is about subtraction (at least in my experience)

 

This is the illustration I use to help describe how to approach things spiritually, though they often recoil in disgust as it is derived from biblical passages :D 

 

Its far from perfect by any means, but in terms of a quick cursory overview, there's quite a bit to be gleaned for one who is new to it all :) 

 

larkinlarge.gif

 

 

Basically, my line is,

 

Take note. If you aren't working towards getting past those outside layers of the onion, you aren't getting to the center :D 

 

It usually helps get the point across a little easier with a visual aid to support the explanation :) 

 

Quote

To most normal people it’s weird, foreign and old-fashioned to consider sex and pleasure-seeking as not desirable… as not central to leading a good life… and so everyone always argues with me about it… upside down times breed upside down notions 

 

I agree with this wholeheartedly.

 

Its one of those things that people immediately balk at if we discuss it, so I try to avoid it if I can

 

People don't like to be confronted with hard truths about their own behaviors, and normally, there is a limbic defensive, often aggressive reaction

 

Understanding this, of course doesn't make anyone  "holier than thou".

 

The question then, is who is willing to admit  to themselves these things and do something about them, or just continue on as normal?

Edited by Shadow_self
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2 hours ago, freeform said:

This retreat involved hardship… not much was pleasurable… the food was bland (no salt, spices, fats) - and we were always a little bit hungry even after eating… the bed was a plank… it was cold and wet at times and stiflingly hot at other times… the training was brutal… we’d be purposely made to train in extreme environments… we’d sit in smelly noisy environments for hours… or train under a sheet metal roof that was painted black to make the space beneath extremely hot. Crocodile crawls in the mud… sleeping amongst spiders, roaches and mice… only cold showers etc etc

 

 

How about mosquitos?

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@freeform

Hats of to you freeform! Respect :D

I really feel you from that explanation. I understand you.

I felt like I was there with you, doing drugs, banging chicks, as well as eating bland food in an unpleasant environment.

I understand your reasoning completely.

Your story is the complete reverse from my own! Hence our seeming disagreement earlier. After reading your story, I can clearly see we agree much more than I thought.

I grew up very religious. I have been vegetarian for all of my adult years, I have only tried alcohol maybe 5 times as a teenager, I've never even tried smoking a cigarette. 

So I grew up "too" restrained, not seeing the good in healthy pleasure. Now, after all these years of repression, I'm having the reverse experience. I'm more accepting of the good side of pleasure. Instead of just judging ALL pleasure as BAD, I see it more nuanced. I can definitely see the bad side of pleasure, just like you mentioned. But for me personally, I have come to a much more balanced life and existence after accepting MORE pleasure in my life. Let's call it "permissible" pleasure, or healthy pleasure.

That's why I was arguing for it, because I was projecting my own story onto you guys. I didn't even stop to realize, that for other people, it might be reverse. They might be coming from too much impermissible pleasure, hence they will come much more into balance by restraining themselves more. Just like you guys are advocating.

I think that's the true genius of this kind of exchange. If we just share our conclusions, we might not understand each other. However, if we share more personally, our life experience, our observations and our reasoning process, it's much easier to truly grasp the message coming across.

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3 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

Are you saying this is a binary choice -- either go down the troubled road of the po or get on Hun Highway?


No - that wouldn’t be very Daoist now would it :lol:

 

There’s several layers to both the Hun and the Po…

 

If one or the other is out of balance it creates issues.

 

The Hun on a base level has all these plans and tries to dream up all these things it wants to do… that motivation in your career… that dream to go sailing in the Caribbean one day etc - that’s the Hun.

 

The Po on a base level is about attachment and holding on. Attachment to identity - personal ‘style’ or fashion sense is a very Po thing… political beliefs is very Po… attachment to family and loved ones and home and sports team etc etc.

 

But there’s a deeper level to both the Po and the Hun - which only comes as a result of balance and harmony between the two (and the rest of elemental aspects).

 

On a deeper level the Po is what keeps you incarnate in our physical world. It’s what allows our soul to grow and transform. The Hun is what keeps an essential aspect of you intact in between lifetimes… one is the earthly aspect of Soul and the other is the heavenly aspect of Soul…

 

When out of balance, the Soul is completely will not shine through.

 

An extreme example of lack of soul is addiction - as you mention… that ‘dead behind the eyes’ look is the complete absence of soul.

 

But in Daoism what’s considered addiction is actually pretty subtle… any habitual identification is an addiction… preference for comfort over discomfort is considered an addiction for example. Preference for being alive over dead is an addiction… preference for being one thing rather than everything is an addiction.

 

Obviously there’s a sliding scale to addiction. And the denser and more base it is, the more it strangles out the soul.

 

Quote
3 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

Sensual pleasure, far from being a distraction or detour, can be a gateway to the spiritual dimension of life.  Something experienced on the outside through the senses triggers an inner awareness.  

 


I’m sorry but I disagree.

 

The human heart has a great deal of depth… art, beauty and sensory pleasure… something like the smell of your baby… or an amazing performance… a comforting hug- it all can indeed touch you very deeply.
 

But that’s not Soul and not Spirit…

 

These things exist on a completely different layer of ‘You’.

 

I know we have a colloquial understanding of soul (like an authentic musical expression is said to have soul)… but this just a much deeper layer of mind/emotion than normal - it’s great - but it’s not soul in the sense that it’s not your Original Self…

 

The original self does not react to beauty or ugliness - it radiates acceptance whatever the circumstances - it’s not moved by music because it’s always ‘moved’ by everything.

 

It’s a really different sort of experience to the normal or even the very special experiences we have in life.

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3 hours ago, Shadow_self said:

Its one of those things that people immediately balk at if we discuss it, so I try to avoid it if I can


It’s also something I try to avoid discussing :ph34r:

 

But it’s being dragged out of me.

 

People have their favourite things… and when they’re told that actually, your favourite things are exactly the things that are holding you back from spiritual cultivation - well then that’s a pretty devastating thing to hear…

 

Its like being asked to sacrifice your child for a chance to touch God.

 

I tend to say that spiritual cultivation is not all it’s cracked up to be! It’s not what you think it is. It doesn’t make things better - not at all.

 

Spiritual cultivation is not for the vast majority of people… even for me, someone that’s dedicated my peak years and all my money to this stuff - every so often I have this doubt - do I really wanna keep going?

 

Love of life and pleasure

 

Love of family, friends and people

 

Love of custom and culture 

 

Love of emotion and feelings

 

Love of a sense of individual self

 

All these things must burn up along the way.

 

Yes they will be replaced by something far greater - but only if you’re willing to let go… and even then, there’s no guarantees - it’ll only happen if you’re lucky.

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22 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

I know we have a colloquial understanding of soul (like an authentic musical expression is said to have soul)… but this just a much deeper layer of mind/emotion than normal - it’s great - but it’s not soul in the sense that it’s not your Original Self…

 

 

Many people have had what they deem to be spiritual experiences merely by being in the presence of a guru.  Someone in touch with that deep original spirit part of themselves is often able to transmit this "knowledge" to others, at least to those karmically primed for such a dispatch.  Now what if such a guru painted a picture, sang a song, or wrote a book.  Don't you think the right viewer/lisener/reader could pick up the transmission?  I think all art works like this.  The layer perceived by the senses -- colors, sounds and whatnot -- is just outer casing; the real act of being open to a piece of art lies in receiving the deeper energies lying behind the more obvious sensual facade.  Of course few artists are gurus.  Still, I think the very best art is inspired by connection with an enlightened place inside.  

 

Then again, maybe I'm wrong.  

Edited by liminal_luke

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There was an article I read about a concert… 

 

No ordinary concert.

 

Because the attendees were not told who the composer was.

 

At the end of the concert they were asked about the music. They reported how the music was so poignant, so filled with meaning… so much substance and truth… people were literally in tears listening and even talking about it.

 

Then it was revealed that the composer was an AI.

 

No human involvement. Just a computer and a bunch of zeroes and ones. No meaning. No depth. No truth.

 

Of course there was a bunch of controversy. People were outraged. Demanded to have their interviews removed from the record… many started saying stuff like ‘oh I knew all along it was a computer - it was so dry and sterile’…

 

We are the ones that give things meaning. We assign beauty to things… feet binding was the epitome of beauty and elegance at one point…

 

there is nothing of innate value to sensory experience. It’s not to be denied or attached to… it just is.

 

There is something constant and unchanging beneath our stimulus-response mind.

 

It exists on a layer of reality that’s rarely experienced. You can’t get to it through the senses because the senses (even when inwardly focused) don’t exist on this plane of reality… if you experience it through the senses… through an individual thing that’s capable of experience - then that’s not it.

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One of my favourite books is The Philokalia, and in that they mention the requirement to seal off the senses in order to make spiritual progression.

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54 minutes ago, freeform said:

even for me, someone that’s dedicated my peak years and all my money to this stuff - every so often I have this doubt - do I really wanna keep going?


Hey @freeform,

I really appreciate the exchange going on here in this thread!

You're really sharing from your heart, you're giving us a piece of yourself. 

I appreciate that :D

Likewise, let me share something about myself, which is somehow related to the above quote. Or at least what it activated in me.

Like I said before, I have been "a straight shooter" morally my whole life due to religion. Even at 13 years of age, when hormones are running high, I was super strict, reading Christian and Hindu teachings about sex and masturbation, and how wrong it was.

I have held myself back all this time, stayed on the "narrow path" of good morals. Only two times in my teenage years, and only thrice in my late 20s did I do something I felt was "off" this highly puritan view of morals I had (rooted in religion).

I was searching for the impersonal, non-dual aspect of God, feeling that was what life was about. It was about dissolving my individuality and merging into the Absolute.

Through SKY meditation, this happened a couple of years ago, and I finally felt like I had "hit home". I felt like everything fell into place. Now I would simply keep meditating, introspecting, removing bad habits and cultivate good habits, and then purify myself more and more for the rest of this life. I felt like things had come full circle, and my life of restraint had paid off. It was my restraint and morals which had allowed me to get sufficient good karma for coming into contact with SKY.

However, 2 years ago something happened. For some reason, one summer, I decided to try to "get wild", just for the summer. I have a cousin who's your stereotypical hedonist. He's an eastern-orthodox-christian, typical slavic macho-man. Big muscles, tatoos, gold medals in martial arts, rides a motorbike, is a craftsman working with his hands, gold chains on the outside of the shirt, gold watch etc.

He bangs new girls every single weekend. We love each other (due to our family ties) and hang out, eat food, talk about God, work out together etc. However, I always stayed away from the partying, going out, getting girls etc. He always felt sad, and kind of rejected that I didn't join his favorite activity, but I felt it was against morals and religion, and would disturb me spiritually.

However, that summer, because I love him so much, I went with him "into his world". Just for a few months. I didn't drink, didn't go to clubs etc, but I went with him to meet girls during the daytime. On the beach, the gym, to the movies, at restaurants, in our houses etc. And I banged 3 different girls. And I really had a good time!

I found a different kind of happiness.

What I got through meditation was impersonal, yet banging these girls I felt the satisfaction I got was personal.

It was like a different side of my "soul" was alive. As if the impersonal side was all satisfied, with the energy, philosophy and meditation, doing what's "sensible" etc. However, this "personal" side of myself was really different. And basic... I most say ;)

I just wanted to make money, build muscles, bang girls and hang out with friends. My spiritual and impersonal life was in order, so now it was time for the material and personal.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, we're westerners. Our psyche is different from the East. The West is much more focused on our individuality, praising the individual soul, and underlining its importance.

In the East, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism, it's much more impersonal. Because their psyche is much more collectivistic and impersonal than ours.

An easterner would probably feel full and eternal contentment with realizing the impersonal Absolute.

However, I feel like we westerners need something different. At least I know I did. It's been 2 years now of me splitting my time 70/30 between spirituality and materialism, whereas for my entire life it was 90/10. And I actually feel more personally fulfilled now. I am still maintaining morals, my daily practice, giving to charity, spreading harmony every I go and so on, I just put in a bit more time to "focus on me", discovering my own individual soul.

"God has created each of us unique, and not fully realizing this Divine individuality, is actually kind of flipping off God himself" - this was something that came to my mind these past 2 years. I was all about the Great, Impersonal God, but now I feel like I am not respecting his creation, by not realizing my own unique, divine individuality.

You gave so much of yourself in your posts, so I just wanted to reciprocate that, to show how much I appreciate it :D maybe it's useful, maybe it's not, but it's a piece of me left out there in the open for you guys to feel a bit of the flavor of my journey and my experiences.

God bless you :)

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