maaca

Daoist "energies" de, qi, ...

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Hello,

 Is there a nice book/article describing a bit deeper "energies" de and qi, how are those related to ching for example? I have a general idea, understood  by reading Dao De Jing, and it's comments, but I'm sure somebody described those more in a detail.

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The more harmonious and aware your heart-mind is and the more spontaneously perfect your virtues (De) are, the more refined and subtle your Qi becomes.

 

The advanced technical aspects of Qi operation are kept as secrets, but the most important reason is because it's difficult to conceptualize them accurately and very few have the qualifications for reaching the deep trance states where they are met. Reading books can whet the appetite of curiosity, but not satisfy it. Understanding will come from personal practice and direct realization.

 

A more general address which may not apply to you:

 

Many people become awestruck when they hear about the meditative phenomena and other technical terms that have been invented to explain the practitioner's progress towards the Dao. I know this perspective might not feel very helpful for now, but it's good to bear in mind that simple heart with practical concerns makes for a better practitioner than the scholar's intellectual thirst.

Edited by virtue
clarification
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Chuang Tzu said, To know the Way is easy; to keep from speaking about it is hard. To know and not to speak - this gets you to the Heavenly part. To know and to speak - this gets you to the human part. Men in the old days looked out for the Heavenly, not the human.

 

One thing the de teaches, is simply to be quiet. Relating to energy, when learning to sink qi to dantian, we just have to watch in alignment as the body remains still, with practice can see/feel the settling down, like the glass of muddy water becomes clear only if you stop trying to stir it up.

 

For the intellectually thirsty, or just bored, this essay looks  pretty promising: The Concept of de ("Virtue") in theLaozi

 

It's funny, as i'm reading through it, can watch as the light slowly reaches back out, to entangle with the words, and bounce them around in the noggin. Then take a break and look back to the lower dantian, remembering a Damo Mitchell talk i recently watched on youtube, where he likened the qi to an elderly on a walker, slowly catching up to wherever the mind jumps to at will. Or like molasses being poured, good things come to those who wait.

 

Spoiler

Here are some highlights i like about "de" from the Ivanhoe link, in case you don't want to read the whole thing.

 

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The actions of the truly virtuous arise spontaneously from their nature. They are not so much their actions as they are the Dao acting through them.

 

 

Quote

 

Laozi believed that whatever is "still" naturally has the de ("power") to settle and govern that which is agitated or restless. For example, "Restlessness overcomes cold; stillness overcomes heat. Limpid and still, One can be a leader in the empire." 24 The Daoist sage emulates this natural pattern of influence and response by cultivating an extremely ethereal, tenuous, and still state of mind, "Cultivate extreme tenuousness; Preserve complete stillness."25 Anyone who achieves and maintains this state of peace and purity generates the special de ("power'') to settle others as well.


 

 

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In Confucian writings such power is thought to be characteristic of any cultivated person. For example, consider Analects 12.19, an exchange between a senior minister of the state of Lu and Confucius, "Ji Kangzi asked Confucius about government, saying, 'How about killing those without the Way in order to advance those with the Way?' Confucius replied, 'In your administration of government, why use killing? If you just desire the good yourself, the people will be good. The de of the cultivated individual is like wind. The de of the petty person is like grass. When the wind blows upon the grass it is sure to bend."' In this and the passage quoted earlier, we see the second characteristic feature of de: its distinctive effect upon those who come into its presence. Moral charisma influences others to yield to, support and emulate the person who has it. 


 

 

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...Zhuangzi dramatically emphasizes the separation of true virtue and outward form. His sages are highly imperfect and undesirable from the point of view of society. But, like the sage described by Confucius and Laozi, Zhuangzi's exemplars have a spiritual "power" that arises from their special character. Aitai Tuo draws people to him and relieves them of their cramped, socially sanctioned opinions of what is attractive and who would make a good minister. Shentu Jia's master stills the boiling rage within him.

 

Zhuangzi's notion of de is very much like Laozi's in being primarily "therapeutic" in its effect.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nintendao
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Thank you @Nintendao for the link to the Ivanhoe's article. It's what I was originally asking for. I've just quickly scrolled through the article, it looks interesting.

 

But much more valuable is the warning mentioned by you and @virtue . Instead of reading all the sources mentioned in the article, I'll do my best to live and feel what I've understood previously + what's mentioned here. I think I have a very nice starting point now.

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18 hours ago, maaca said:

Hello,

 Is there a nice book/article describing a bit deeper "energies" de and qi, how are those related to ching for example? I have a general idea, understood  by reading Dao De Jing, and it's comments, but I'm sure somebody described those more in a detail.

Hello maaca,

It is always great to hear that we have a member who gained understanding by reading Dao De Jing. Maybe you will contribute to the commentary found here

https://www.thedaobums.com/forum/254-daodejing/

If you are looking for a follow up read to that, I suggest

https://www.thedaobums.com/forum/257-zhuangzi/

many that have walked the path through here left their footprints on those two links for later walkers along the path --- accessibility.

I think zhaungzi could tell you;

Nature provides us with many ways to go.

Be skeptical of any claim of special access to guiding knowledge by self claimed sages, "ideal observers", or perfect exemplars of epistemic virtues.  

 

Edited by zerostao
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3 hours ago, maaca said:

I think I have a very nice starting point now.

 

That's great! If i may venture one more thing that came to mind, since the original post also mentions Jing. I recall having found the Neiye sort of illuminating. 

 

 

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On 9/5/2021 at 1:45 AM, zerostao said:

It is always great to hear that we have a member who gained understanding by reading Dao De Jing. Maybe you will contribute to the commentary found here

https://www.thedaobums.com/forum/254-daodejing/

If you are looking for a follow up read to that, I suggest

https://www.thedaobums.com/forum/257-zhuangzi/

 

It happened to me couple of times, I was reading a book or an article that should have helped me to understand things, but after a few pages I've stopped with: Hey, this is what Laozi wrote in 10 words and even much cleaner way. So I'm better opening daodejing again and again and finding new things inside. + other "classics", of course.

Additionally, it makes more sense to me to understand a bit thinking of the shamanic pre-daoist era to find out where Laozi came from, than studying "modern" texts.

 

There are interesting discussions in forums linked by you, but I haven't found any, where my thought would be helpful, yet...

 

 

On 9/5/2021 at 3:21 AM, Nintendao said:

 

That's great! If i may venture one more thing that came to mind, since the original post also mentions Jing. I recall having found the Neiye sort of illuminating.

 

 

Neiye really brought a bit more light to the overall picture. Thank you for pointing on that.

 

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5 hours ago, maaca said:

 

 

 + other "classics", of course.

 

Additionally, it makes more sense to me to understand a bit thinking of the shamanic pre-daoist era to find out where Laozi came from, than studying "modern" texts.

 

Neiye really brought a bit more light to the overall picture. Thank you for pointing on that.

 

Neiye could prove useful.

as far as other classics, I'd say skip The Golden Flower and Taoist Yoga, they probably do work, as there are many different ways, but not sure how many lifetimes it could take to get results.

 

@virtue gave you great advice "Understanding will come from personal practice and direct realization."

 

If energetics is what you're into? study the Daoist medical theories. But that's not necessary, but it wont hurt, either.

 

anyways, good luck on your path. and it is your path. Laozi wrote about his path.

 

edit> oh yeah, i wanted to add that my idea of De is that De is Power. whether it is virtues or powers, it is entrapped inside of you---and you need to figure out how to release it// realize it

 

Edited by zerostao

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