stuff i thought i knew

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meditation is a cure for the mind.


if we look at how we cure the body, there are simmilar procedures:

for example, before you give a man his cure, you seek to see what imballancies and disease affects him.

then you look at his physical shape, is he in good shape, has he a good stomach to digest the cure, or should it be applied othewise, maybe injected?


each of us have a chanse at enlightment and immortality.

with what?

with no more than what life puts in your way. what you attract.

to find the best method, is to know how you function.

the method is just an algorithm. there are many, and there will ever be many more invented.

because the methods were conceived for the man, not the man conceived for the methods.


you would love seeing the movie "The Silent Flute".


im sure this question will be adressed for millenia to come, this is my small contribution for it.

The Living Tao and The Immortal Tao


there are mainly two ways of practicing taoism:


- the day-to-day, living tao, that adresses health benefits, healing of chronic diseases, strenghtening of the tendons, bones, senses, and the general sense of wellbeing. also emotional balance, serenity and inner peace, and a new way to regain confidence and good relationships.

for some of the seekers out there these health related and emotional related issues are "The Lesser Dao", to say the least. many of them even despize them, sort of.

other seekers have developed some maturity and understood the value of these aspects, and go for it, caring less for other people's distrust.


- the next level is the immortal dao, or the spiritual practice of the tao. i cannot comment much on this, as i am bearly a beginner myself.

the thing is, the technical issue is, that you cannot use the same type of resources for the both of them. this means that living tao practices help you do just that, live happily, stronger, yes wealthier, and more at peace with yourself and with others. so you cannot use living tao methods to attain spiritual acheivements.


but living tao acheivements are, at least as taught my mantak chia, the foundation of higher practices.

alchemy and meditation burn up huge quantities of resources.

you need to build up resources for the higher practices, using living tao methods, which are, practically, a healthier way of living...

the nay-sayers will learn to understand this, as their reserves will someday reach the bottom


starting with spiritual practice is not very difficult to do.

because everyone has some resources.

the catch is, spiritual acheivements cannot and willnot solve physical and emotional issues.

it's like trying to mate an ape with a penguin, they are so different.

each domain, the physical, the emotional, the mental, the spiritual, has it's own set of cures.


some people say that starting up with spiritual practice, before you understand the other three domains of activity, can lead one to evolve up to... his/her own level of incompetence... which means sooner or later you will get stuck somewhere, and think This Is It.


so it goes both sides, living tao practices cannot lead to spiritual acheivements, and spiritual tao practices cannot heal everyday issues, including sex, money, health, social behaviour, and so on.

the point is, we need both.

the frustration comes when we see that there is so much to work with in living tao practices, that we can never hope to ever see the moment when we start to work with the spiritual aspects.



that was really very beautiful. thank you Little1.

I feel..like..you touch something very profound with your last sentence..my foggy mind is slightly moved echoing something else stirring..in my chest.

what happens when we bite the dust?

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Thank you L1 for putting this in such a way. It makes sense and resonates with me.


I understand Eva Wong goes along about the same distinction with regard to dao for longevity and immortal dao. She points out that practices up to Lesser Kan Li are designated for longevity, with higher practices - for spiritual development. Would you support that distinction for M. Chia system? That is, where would you put a border line in Chia's system: with 6 sounds/Iron Shirt/MCO or higher, closer to Kan/Li practice?

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I love the Inner Smile so much... :)


Inner Smile can be a pretty advanced practice, depending on how you do it. Sometimes I even have a feeling that all practices in the system are just manifestations of just one practice which could be Inner Smile. They just address different angles/facets of the same basic meditation.


I'm not sure I would like to "blind" experiment with higher practices. Eva Wong puts it quite seriously about dangers for those who start that stage of cultivation.

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What does Eva Wong say? It should be interesting :)


Well, I don't remember exactly where I read it, it was either Tao of Health Longevity and Immortality, or Nourishing the Essence of Life, but she put it quite strongly against experimenting with the immortality portion of cultivation. First, once started, it would be very difficult to drop out (probably that means that quitting would be to the major expense to a practitioner). Secondly, mistakes could be easily made with harsh consequenses including ultimate ones.


I was really surprised when I read that longevity (not immortality) practices include use of refined chi obtained through equivalent of Lesser Kan and Li formula. But again, I'm not at all qualified and can be way off the true understanding of what she meant.


That's why I was interested in your take on a longevity limits in the Chia's system.




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When one knows the Tao, one is the Tao. Subject and object dissolve and become one. Any practice can lead to a deepening of awareness, and awareness is limitless, bottomless, and inexhaustable.


My practice today:


I read some.


I mopped a floor.


I ate food.


I practiced Hsing-i.


I sat and observed.


I cleaned my house.


I meditated.



None of these practices is greater or lesser than any other. The quality of awareness is the important part. Emotional issues, physical problems, egoic sense of self, all dissolve and are transformed when pure attention is applied to whatever activity is undertaken. Everything is spiritual. Everything leads to Tao. Seperation is an illusion.


The relative opposites, yin and yang, return to their primordial beginning.


Every moment is a doorway to this. Activity and form are incidental.



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Yes, breaking off from conditioned living takes effort for nearly all of us. Those who come to understand themselves spontaneously are very rare. For me it takes ongoing practice.


Thank you for your article.



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Great video. I spent 10 years as a Pure Land Buddhist, then 3 doing Tendai practices, which included mikkyo practices. I didn't realize at the time they came from taoism but I do now. It is rather shocking that I was doing visualizations, moving my chi' without any understanding & my sensei didn't either.


So I have no problem whatsover devoting 10-15 years of my life getting myself in shape & then attempting spiritual taoist practices. I have a few of M. Chia's books, so from what I read here Inner Smile is where I should start?


I appreciate all the things you are writing.



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So I have no problem whatsover devoting 10-15 years of my life getting myself in shape & then attempting spiritual taoist practices. I have a few of M. Chia's books, so from what I read here Inner Smile is where I should start?


Ages ago, in another life, I used to teach Healing Dao basics.


If you want to go the HT route, I'd recommend inner smile, healing sounds and belly breathing to start with. Maybe a bit of dao yin. Some ordinary stretchy fitness thing, anyway.


Especially healing sounds. Get clear, get empty. Do them until you've done then so much that you're amazed by how deep and profound they are and are astonished that everyone doesn't do them. Get info on the seated, lying and moving (animal) versions. Do them lots, esp before bed. Really work on making the sounds subvocal, more of an internal vibration than an external noise. Don't worry about visualising, unless you're a very visual person. Feel them. Respect the organs, assume they are very intelligent, very sensitive. Continually seek their feedback. Learn all the correspondences of the five elements. Yadda yadda yadda....


For inner smile, make it as little an intention and as much a permission as you can. Spend a minute or two just sitting and accepting everything before you even think you're beginning. Gentle, gentle..


Ocean breathing, as taught by M Winn, is nice. Standing, swaying, as if neck deep in water.


Enough already. Stress into vitality is the best early Chia book, in my opinion.


Best wishes,


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Get info on the seated, lying and moving (animal) versions.


where animal version could be found?

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where animal version could be found?


Many versions. But within HT, mainly Michael Winn or Barry Spendlove, that I know of...

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