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Posted by spiraltao on 21 September 2011 - 07:46 PM
My old sifu had moved back after seventeen years and I seen him on youtube, so I called and told him my situation. I remember telling him "I am at rock bottom, teacher." He said, "THAT IS WONDERFUL! There is only one way to go and that is UP." This gave me some hope.
He introduced me to circle walking. I started to feel a bit less lethargic and my anger issues began to subside. I kept getting hepatic panels ran on a monthly basis and my enzymes and billirubin levels began to drop. The doctor at the University of KY told me that my liver tests would NEVER be normal again. He said that I might be able to lower them, but would never read as a healthy liver.
To make a long story a bit less long, I stuck to my training. I learned the eight mother palms and my inside and outside changes. In Feb I met Zerostao and he introduced me to some bagua qigong. Until this I had only been doing ZZ standing as chi kung. Zerostao introduced me to the iron shirt form and the single and double palm changes among other things that I have covered in my training log.
I made sure to play my bagua every day and actually think I know what song means!
Well, fast forward to last Friday, I had another hepatic panel done.
My sister is a AARNP (nursing practitioner) and she simply couldn't believe what she seen. She at first thought that my labs had gotten mixed up. They were the labs of a man with a healthy liver!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES! I NOW HAVE THE PROOF IN BLACK AND WHITE!
I AM PROOF THAT CHI KUNG IS REAL AND IT WORKS! I never had any doubt, but others were skeptical in the family but being that kung fu has been a passion of mine since I was four they were used to the combat part, but had never heard of learning to fight to improve your health, as my dad puts it.
THIS POST GOES OUT TO THE EVERY TAO BUM THAT HAS HELPED ME. ...and to Zerostao for leading me to this wonderful place. I feel at home now.
I can do ANYTHING with proper guidance and this is only the beginning. Where as before I really wondered if I would live to see my daughter graduate high school.
I am not being arrogant, but I feel better than I have since I was in my early twenties and I just slapped a cap block with no warm up to see if my metal element was still in order. Yeah, it broke with ease and my friend said the slap looked nearly effortless.
There is no way to hide my excitement and express the joy in my heart with words.
I must thank my god, my sifu, Zerostao, Lao Xie, Ray Carbullido, Kent Howard, Kenneth Cohen and Dr. Yang Jwing Ming and Master Liang Shou Yu. Not mention Frank Allen. Each person listed above played a pivotal role in my transformation.
Posted by Taomeow on 28 June 2014 - 12:20 AM
1. What teaching/system/lineage has the interviewee been exposed to?
Quanzhen school, Longmen Pai, Wang Liping lineage. Chen taijiquan, Chen Zhenglei lineage. A bit of Maoshan. Siberian and South American shamanism.
2. What form of practices has the interviewee been exposed to? (qigong, alchemy, Taiji, shamanism, magic, etc)
Taoist and shamanic arts, sciences and practices. Qigong, taijiquan, taoist meditation; Chinese astrology, divination and fortune-telling; form-compass feng shui, taoist magic, traditional healing practices; proto-taoist shamanic and folk practices; South American shamanism; modern explorations of taoism-as-science -- parallel and/or corroborating discoveries in genetics, chaos theory, fractals, the mathematical theory of fuzzy logic; the phenomena of Time.
3. What is the interviewees most recent (last few years) interest in energy arts, self-cultivation, or spiritual practices?
Taiji neigong, taoist alchemical practices, practical applications of certain universal power laws.
- Is there something in the air or water or both in Russia that fosters genius, or is it the educational system, the classical music, or what? I know quite a few Russians here and the difference is palpable.
What’s in the water, I don’t know -- what’s not in the water may play a role… e.g. fluoride…
I think the potential for genius is something tao distributes among peoples of the earth in an unbiased manner, as an equal opportunity venue for all humans. But from there, it’s a matter of values that are being supported and cultivated. Certain types of values seem to work better at helping genius emerge anywhere where they get to be recognized and accepted as such.
Simple ones, actually. Education is good, ignorance ain’t bliss. Scientific curiosity is its own reward, you don’t have to turn it off as soon as you are not paid for applying it. Art, music, poetry nourish the soul, no need to saddle them with the task of fetching fame and fortune. And, importantly, you need to know early on that you are not going to fail social adaptation as punishment for being studious, curious, and competent. You need to know that you won’t get shot down with merciless missiles of ridicule for this; won’t get in trouble with your peers the second they detect intelligence and creativity in you that might undermine the credibility of the obligatory set of “cool” things to do and to be; won’t be dismissed as a “nerd” and brushed aside by the triumphant march of “whateverism.” You need a niche for your budding ability that is livable in, and a modicum of respect for the passion in your heart even if it’s not on the list of the latest “cool” things to be passionate about.
There were times when scientists of merit were promoted and romanticized in Russia with ardor one only sees directed at movie stars and pop musicians elsewhere. There were times when a poetry reading – by a real poet, not this or that glorified voice of the lowest common denominator – would be held at a stadium, and gather crowds of thousands -- like a football match! Can you imagine?.. Of course things have changed… and it is quite possible that we will see less and less genius coming from there and more and more from elsewhere… who knows. Whoever sows the seeds of true values, reaps the fruits of human genius.
2. Can you put in a nutshell, say five short points, ways to identify Buddhist influence on the Daoist method?
It’s neither easy nor obvious, even to hardcore taoists themselves. The Taoist canon or Tao Tsang is comprised of 1,120 volumes – not pages – complied over a period of fifteen centuries. It would take about as long to organize this material in a kind of order that would confer certainty on any assertions at all. For the bulk of it this might never be possible to do, e.g. because many of the books were written in encoded vocabulary only meant for the initiates to understand -- and the last initiate may have disappeared centuries ago. So all discussions of the history of taoism and influences thereon can only be tentative.
Here’s an example. One of the nine compartments comprising the upper dantien in the head is called Ni Huan. This term, meaningless in Chinese, was used to transliterate the Sanscrit “Nirvana.” It cannot predate the introduction of Buddhism in the first century A.D., and it’s anyone’s guess whether borrowing a name has affected the earlier, taoist-proper concept or practice. There’s many such instances where a taoist notion picks up a Buddhist label along the way – without necessarily incorporating all its Buddhist connotations verbatim.
Buddhist influence is not doubted in all suggestions of abstaining from meat and wine, though taoists’ justifications for these practices will be quite different and the context of their application, ditto.
Some schools of taoism that were fully concerned with “Inner Gods” and “worshipped” them in the form of practices we are familiar with today – the cultivation of the three dantiens, circulation of breath and qi, etc. – declined as the Inner Gods were gradually replaced by gods that could be worshipped collectively by the masses. Not physical immortality but mere longevity was slipped in as the objective of cultivation. Before the advent of Buddhism, three out of four “streams” comprising taoist thought and practice concerned themselves with physical immortality, their main pursuit without a doubt. This decline, as some scholars suggest, was the direct outcome of the spread of Buddhism.
Buddhism introduced the concept of a soul. Buddha himself did not believe in a soul. His doctrine of anatta presented a human being as five “heaps” – the body, feelings, perceptions, emotions, and acts of consciousness. This is very similar to the Chinese view during the time when taoism developed. The Chinese considered the human personality to be a composite. The shens (whether the five, or the two with further subdivisions – three hun and seven po – or with some other differences in nomenclature but not in essence), the spirit parts, could not be reassembled into the “personhood” once they dissipated; hence the practices to prevent or reverse this dissipation. So immortality of taoism had to be physical.
The schools of Buddhism, however, which became most popular in China, taught the immortality of the soul, and the existence of the paradise and hell. Both concepts were gradually accepted by many taoist schools. Physical immortality lost its original significance. Replacing the original concern for how to survive on earth, came the concern for how to survive in heaven rather than hell (under various labels for both).
Then of course the taoist immortals, for all purposes gods – the hsien, human beings who won immortality via cultivation – found themselves up against serious competition. In the form in which Buddhism reached China, the arhat, the original Buddhist ideal, had been largely displaced by the bodhisattva. The bodhisattva (or Buddha-to-be) became a being who would help people toward enlightenment, satisfy their desires and avert dangers, and facilitate rebirth on a higher plane of existence, some Pure Land or other. He or she became a god of mercy.
The first taoist reaction was to make Immortals into Instructors who would teach the adept how to follow in their footsteps. Next they borrowed the idea of reincarnation and asserted that some Instructor-Immortals, like Laozi, had repeatedly incarnated on the earth to instruct the Sages. Then of course they went even further than Buddhists, by placing Laozi’s birth before Heaven and Earth, and positing his departure from Chaos as the cause for Creation. Hence, he received the title of Tai Chun, Lord Tao, tao made flesh. Huang-Lao Chun was now a name for Laozi in his eternal aspect. Thus the Great Mother herself got transformed into yet another Eternal Father. Just as I said earlier, it gets complicated…
3. Will you ever write a book? You have tons of material right here in the TTB archives.
I would probably have to ask the great tao for a little nudge in that direction… someone or something to convince me that this book would benefit, not necessarily “all beings,” but “enough” of them – including myself among those “beings.” I’ve thought about it…
There’s another book that is trying to emerge, seemingly regardless of my conscious intent or lack thereof, the book that keeps me awake at night with scenes and flashes and whole elusive chapters which I might fall asleep into and then wake up trying to tie together. It is a sci-fi novel, it relies on the wuxing theory for its underlying machinery propelling the plot, and it concerns itself with time travel made possible and necessary by some principles embedded in the I Ching. But this one is difficult (I mean, difficult to write, I don’t intend for it to be difficult to read) and might take a long time to fully emerge. So, the easier interim one, a bit of taoist nonfiction, is a tempting option…
4. What do you consider the three most essential books on the subject of Daoism? (books available in English)
If we are talking about taoist books, books included in the taoist canon, the first two are fairly obvious choices -- the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching (in that order), with my third selection perhaps The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. If we are talking about books “about” taoist subjects – please see the response to the next question below.
5. Likewise, your top three authors (specifically on Daoist subjects or maybe two -- list one Daoist and one wide open)
Joseph Needham, for a deep foray into the “overall picture.” The rest I just can’t organize into any “top three” or “top two” – it depends on the subject… I prefer books and authors tackling specific aspects of taoist arts, sciences and practices, not pontificating about this or that metaphysical vision they happen to favor. “It all” is just too huge, and I’m convinced that the inroads into “The Way” are smaller “ways.” Taoists don’t make a big deal of any particular cognitive Big Bang (though these happen too, but they are not viewed as “destinations…” Notice that the next to last, Hexagram 63 of the I Ching, is known as “After Completion,” but the last one that follows, Hexagram 64, is “Before Completion!”) They prefer a series of not excessively dramatic, steady, ongoing “bangs” that give existence its rhythm and music. So, if the author offers any which “general theory of everything” not rooted in a specific hands-on, mind-on, “everything I am must participate” traditional taoist routine, chances are I won’t be interested. If, on the other hand, it’s about the way taoists do Chinese calligraphy – a book on that subject may omit the word “taoist” but if you’ve traveled other “ways” they’ve traveled, you’ll recognize the landmarks – I’m game.
So I might offer “top three taoist subjects” instead, with no preference for authors except that they have to be lineage practitioners, not “researchers,” of these subjects. And even this can’t really work – things taoist just inherently resist being organized into hierarchies of “top threes,” refuse to build a pyramid.
My advice to anyone who would undertake learning things taoist from books would be, choose a practice – taiji, classical feng shui, Chinese astrology, qigong, traditional medicine, etc. – and read all you can find about that practice, written by its practitioners, while practicing. It may eventually lead you elsewhere… and, should that happen, just repeat the process. The Way is fluid, and all those inroads into taoist consciousness eventually combine into the great watercourse spontaneously and naturally, just like smaller streams combine and flow together to form a great river.
6. What's your favorite color? Favorite food? Favorite music? Favorite favorites?
My favorite is often a combo of two colors – blue with white, black with gold, green with brown. Come to think of it, these pairs are comprised of members of the Generative phases of the wuxing.
My favorite food is a variety of traditional fares. I don’t like commercially processed foods and have no appetite for junk whatsoever. Other than that, anything goes – I’m a curious and adventurous eater. Things I’m partial to change – I still miss many berries I grew up with, but on the other hand, I’ve discovered oysters…
Favorite music – this changes too. I grew up with classical music, then rock, then eventually discovered and came to love all kinds of traditional music, folk, tribal, and this keeps getting strange for someone who used to play Bach and now prefers Mongolian throat singing and African drums and the didgeridoo. Of course from time to time I discover someone or something new or previously overlooked to like in the world of music closer to home too.
Favorite favorites – well, I’d say, life on Earth. Live phenomena. I think our earth once was, and I hope will be again someday, the best place in the universe, the place not only of the “ten thousand things” but of ten thousand ways to be thrilled, to be happy, to be alive. My vision of what this planet could be, should be, might be, is one motivator for taoist practices. Who would bother with self-cultivation quests if life itself was to give up, to give way to some unfeeling wonders of its un-animated semi- or fully-synthetic successors?.. Instead of cultivation, why not opt for implanted technology instead, why not self-improve by plugging into the Matrix and letting it decide how exactly to improve you?.. Why bother with those homespun, obsolete, human ways?.. But those ways are my “favorite favorites” – the feeling, sensitive and responsive, intensely personal, intensely interpersonal ties with people and things of the live kind.
7. What does Chinese Astrology say about the year 2014/2015?
I won’t say anything about 2015 for now – this is for a bit later. And of course 2014 is already in full swing… So far it’s been swinging the way Chinese astrology told me it would – I wrote about it before its beginning at least twice – so what I can add at this point might as well be a quote from Lewis Carroll: “what I tell you three times is true.” I will expound a bit though.
In 2014, the Year of the Horse in the Hsia calendar, the energies of the world are governed by Wood sitting on top of Fire (Wood in the Heavenly Stem and Fire in the Earthly Branch). One can see this also as Wood thrown into Fire from the top or Fire burning Wood from below – continuously. Both, moreover, are yang.
Normally, Wood-Fire is a productive Mother-Child relationship, and many optimistic forecasts I’ve seen were based on this superficial understanding. Mine was essentially a dire warning instead – that’s because the Productive position of wuxing (Five Phases) is challenged by a reverse dynamics of the Stem and Branch of the greater Spacetime. As a result, the Earthly Branch is found in a Destructive relationship to the Heavenly Stem -- Fire under Wood. Yang Wood is strong, stubborn, and sticking to its principles, while its Horse nature of 2014, also very powerful, is, in addition to Fire below, in itself inherently fiery, and is associated with explosive energies.
If that wasn’t enough, within the Yang Wood Horse there’s yin fire, emotional, flickering and unstable; below it is yang fire, strong and continuously amplified. Historically, e.g., the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on a day that had this type of qi.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. This is a creative, energetic year, and some of the new energies to emerge may, in the long run, bring about viable and beneficial things, events and trends. Some businesses will do well – particularly energy business, air travel, sports, entertainment, restaurants. We also have Peach Blossom luck this year, so many can expect an influx of romantic opportunities. As an extension of this love-friendly energy into more precarious territory, we’ll have some heartbreaks and, in the public domain, some scandals too.
Try taking extra care of your health and in particular watch out for all manner of inflammatory and epidemic disease, problems with blood circulation and the heart, and (because Horse is in conflict with Rat, the Water sign) kidney, reproductive, unrinary, and immune system problems.
The civil wars I predicted on the eve of the Chinese New Year didn’t wait too long to break out in some of the old (Iraq) and some brand-new (Ukraine) locations; here in California we’ve had some early, out of season, and pretty extensive wildfires already in mid-May; in other words, so far the world behaves in strict accordance with classical Chinese astrology. The most challenging and dangerous of the remaining months will be August and September. Please protect yourselves, and be safe.
8. You mention the phenomena of time. Like air, it’s easy to be unaware of it. How should we reframe our relationship with time?
We could start learning to notice and apply the taoist concepts of the great cosmic process – Conception, Growth, Fruition, Consummation. We could gain a lot of confidence and lose the need for a “savior” if we understand – not in the head, deeper – that “the way of tao is motion and the pattern of this motion is Return.” We could benefit from developing a habit of seeing all phenomena around and within as processes rather than objects, dynamic rather than static. A mountain is a process, not an object. A word spoken in truth or un-truth is a seed we drop that will grow into a forest, in time.
We could also learn, from fascinating taoist sources, that all Time is not created equal – time is as colorful and varied as space. We can tell a desert from an ocean in space, we can learn to be able to in Time as well. The moment in time when the desert is the desert – happened before, will happen again, but won’t stay put. In between there were times of forests, oceans and skyscrapers. A different time will come and sweep them all clean. The kind of time, the shape, flavor, quality, opportunity it brings or removes – that’s what taoist sciences of time are concerned with. That’s what they study. If you know winter is coming, you’ll buy a coat. If you know more about this winter – much more – if you know that not only the weather will get colder but the shape, flavor, quality, opportunity for every process will change, and know how exactly… you are turning into a taoist sage who gains freedom by way of such knowledge. You buy a coat, but freedom is also available in the next department, for the coat purchase you have to know “where,” for freedom, love, opportunity, self-realization, acts of kindness that make a difference, acts of courage and wisdom that can benefit one or all, you have to know “when.” Taoist sciences of Time are about this “when” while also implying an understanding of “how” and “why.”
9. You talk about ganying. Which feels to me a little like luck. How do we increase ganying or synchronicities in our life?
Ganying is certainly an important component of “luck,” but “luck” is, in and of itself, a major notion of traditional taoist thought -- and a separate science, an application of certain universal relativistic, stochastic principles to personal human concerns. Ganying is understood as a kind of resonance, a fractal of reflections of events and phenomena into different scales and dimensions which on some level appear “similar,” “related,” “patterned on each other” and on some other level, blatantly “the same” – like the sound produced by plucking a string is the same sound of the same string whether you hear it from within one inch or one foot or a hundred feet away from the source. Whether there’s an amplifier in between or a soundproof wall.
To learn to discern ganying, resonating meaningful relatedness of phenomena that don’t appear related to a superficial analysis by inadequate methods -- “coincidences,” “similarities,” “sameness” of phenomena -- one needs to learn to listen. It’s like with music – you recognize a melody, and then a style, and then a performer, and then an emotional or creative or mood-affecting, heart-affecting, etc., impact of music on your life, by listening, paying attention, and internalizing the patterns. Perhaps you can even learn to play an instrument. Perhaps you can become a true virtuoso if you practice daily and put your body and soul into the practice. Then you won’t have to rely on luck to hear your favorite guitar piece or violin concerto – you can produce it, anytime you like. That’s the relationship between ganying and luck.
10. Here's a big one. What are ghosts? Do they matter; have any effect on the world? Should we fear becoming one?
That’s a big question indeed. Ghosts have often been described and occasionally defined in all traditions, taoists used to get special training to deal with them, and did it either as a public service or as a source of income, or both. The taoist priest with a gourd bottle for capturing unwanted rouge entities would be the specialist to summon if a house or a village experienced difficulties from the spirit realm. There’s many varieties of ghosts – the dead outnumber the living… though not all ghosts are, technically, “residual” manifestations of the once-living entities, some are projections of entities living “elsewhere,” in some other realms, into this one, where they can’t manifest fully. But the most common ghosts of taoism are the “hungry” ones – the deceased with unresolved issues from a life lived that they attempt to resolve in an afterlife, typically by trying to get what they need from the living.
A traditionalist might anticipate and try to prevent these developments by taking care of the immediate deceased relatives, e.g. by implementing yin feng shui (safeguarding auspicious resting conditions for the dead), by installing an ancestral altar at home and making regular offerings of food, drink, incense, and remembrance. This is supposed to prevent hunger and privations in the other realm, and help maintain a good relationship with one’s ancestors, which is thought of as crucial for a family’s well-being regardless of whether those ancestors are alive or dead.
There’s also ghosts that can’t be defined or even described, which are known by their effects on the living – one such Chinese entity is the “heavy ghost,” which might sit on a sleeping person and do nothing, just get heavier and heavier. It’s a dangerous one. The custom suggests professional intervention in such cases. In general lay people were discouraged from trying to interact with unknown spirits if they could help it. Some ghosts have the ability to materialize, occasionally seducing and thwarting the living. Not just humans but animals are suspected of this activity, notably foxes, who are thought of as capable of taoist cultivation but do not necessarily cultivate toward the same goals as humans; also turtles, whose cultivation and materializing-dematerializing abilities have been studied and, on occasion, emulated by taoist adepts; and some others. Some ghosts are raw manifestations of particular phases of qi (wuxing), and of the Twelve Animals of the Earthly branches, who can occasionally make the incomprehensible transition from the metaphorical to the material and show up in the human world. In the traditional worldview, even metaphors, alliterations, ideas themselves can manifest as entities under certain conditions.
Should we fear becoming ghosts ourselves? Fear is not the most productive attitude I think, but some healthy precautions couldn’t hurt. E.g., according to “The Secret of Everlasting Life” (Can Tong Qi), “One Yin and one Yang are what is meant by the Tao. Being determinedly Yin or determinedly Yang is a disease!” This disease, if contracted in one’s life and, especially, cultivation, endangers one’s chances of avoiding further manifestation as either a yin ghost or a yang ghost with no access to the balancing opposite and the resulting parasitic dependence on getting it from the living.
11. How do you see from a taoist woman perspective the whole taoist male sexuality and the issues we encounter periodically here on Taobums with semen retention and in general?
I think highly of healthy manifestations of male sexuality, which I believe is unfortunately quite rare these days; and I don’t see semen retention as a useful practice. Of course human sexuality in general has plunged into murky waters a long time ago, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this or that taoist sect deviated into ideas and practices that, at best, strike me as literal and “gross” interpretations of certain much more subtle concepts of taoism and would require a very different approach to be implemented productively. E.g., understanding jing as “semen” is akin to understanding “modern computer technology” as “hardware” and consequently trying to conserve your “computer power” by turning your computer on but disconnecting it from the screen and the keyboard.
The real traditional cultivation via the sexual venue, known as the Arts of the Bedchamber, or the Dual Cultivation of man and woman, is based on entirely different principles. One of these is maximizing pleasure without compromising health. The holistic experience of healthy pleasure is thought of as a better teacher of human excellence in any endeavor than pain and suffering and repression which are touted as soul-refining in many other traditions. Another one is healing – for self or partner or both – there’s therapeutic techniques of using sex as one would use qigong, to normalize the system and alleviate or cure a host of health problems. Yet another has to do with alchemical processes and is meant to complement what’s deficient and diminish what’s excessive in order to obtain the alchemical reaction between yin and yang forces by facilitating a certain equilibrium. Usually men have more yang and women, more yin; in sexual cultivation they may be encouraged to reverse their roles so that the woman masters some yang principles and functions, while the man acquires the much-needed balancing yin from her. It’s all about exchange, flow, modulation, developing sensitivity, expanding perceptions of self and partner, in some respects it’s not unlike a non-combative taiji sparring. Love is also a big deal in the traditional view of sexual cultivation, since it amplifies one’s ability to connect to the primal forces of creation, immortality, life itself. And so on. Whereas retention strikes me as a manifestation of greed…
12. What do you feel are the most important daily energetic practices?
I’d say it’s individual, but in most cases, the important thing is to maintain a healthy balance of the moving and stillness practices, not to overemphasize one at the expense of the other. The masters I know who could be great role models because of their even and balanced but not limp and numbed-out emotionality, their optimism and compassion, competence and ease of tackling problems as they arise, excellent health, and usually success rather than failure in undertakings that matter to them – perhaps heralding some greater, existential success – tend to be versatile, interchanging vigorous practices with deep meditation, participation with seclusion, activity with passivity – they are flexible, and go this way or that based on their set of developed sensitivities to their own needs, the needs of others, the needs of the moment. What I could perhaps suggest is to choose a master whose personality, skill, attitude you admire, and do as he or she does. “We become what we admire.”
13. You mentioned some interesting things about "dual cultivation of man and woman" in your previous Q&A thread. Can you tell us some more of your thoughts on bedroom alchemy? Did you learn from a teacher or a particular text? Is there any book or other source in English which you find useful?
I partially answered this in #11, please see above.
I learned some from a teacher; some from books, of which I found particularly useful the excerpts from the few surviving classical texts included in Yang Li’s “Book of Changes and Traditional Chinese Medicine”; and some, from contemplating and integrating other sources.
14. What’s your current routine or focus in practicing?
The main current routines are taiji neigong (not “taiji and neigong”) and Longmen Pai practices.
The main focus is rather modest – I want to get better at what I’m doing, and I want to feel this “better” in all areas of my life – such as health; emotional well-being; the capacity for compassion of the kind that generates useful action in the world rather than useless heartache in the compassionate; embodied rather than thought-policed optimism (the kind you wake up to when you know today is your fourth birthday and there’s going to be presents and guests and the cake and everybody will be kind to you); an increased mastery of my circumstances, ideally of any circumstances… stuff like that.
15. What annoys you the most about Taoism?
The application of the label “taoism” to ideas, practices and processes that aren’t. And on the flip side of this counterfeit coin, a failure to see ideas, practices and processes that are taoism as such.
This is the doing of “researchers,” “experts,” “theorists,” and lay armchair interpreters who are invariably on the outside looking in yet, instead of undertaking to learn from those inside, don’t hesitate to pontificate to them, to assume condescending stances toward them based on their very own learned-parrot ideas about the “right” and “wrong” approaches to taoism. This, they will tell you, is folk superstition (to despise all things “folk” is one of their favorite instruments of establishing their own superiority), and that, they will tell you, needs to be proved by “modern science” or else it’s invalid (“modern science” is a mysterious ultimate authority figure some like to defer to whenever they seek the upper hand in a cognitive brawl… the imaginary big daddy who will set everyone straight in the playground… an unmet infantile need, this one).
Their opinions vary – some will tell you that you aren’t doing the “right” taoism if you observe the ritual because taoism is a philosophy, not the ritual; while others will tell you that you aren’t doing the “right” taoism if you don’t observe the ritual because taoism is memorizing and repeating the poem of your school, end of story; and yet others will tell you some other nonsense. Opinions are a dime a dozen, and often the only thing their holders have in common is that they’ve never had a genuine teacher, never engaged in a traditional practice, and never applied taoist principles to their own everyday life. So, the annoying part about taoism is, in my opinion, its being poorly protected from the impostors. Alas, too often, fully legitimized, institutionalized impostors. To get to taoism proper past these and past the fortifications they’ve built to defend their positions is quite a challenge…
16. What was the hardest part to get, or most crucial threshold for you as a beginner?
Two things. One is a clear understanding of the fact that in relation to taoist arts and practices you never stop being a beginner. The Jade Emperor himself, who started out as a mortal man, is said to have cultivated for millions of years before he advanced to his current status. Think about it: for millions of years, he was a beginner! Perhaps this is what’s necessary to accept in order to become what he became.
In ordinary pursuits, you get what you’re after and you can rest on the laurels if you like, or come up with a new pursuit. In taoist cultivation, the more you advance, the better you understand how laughably little you have accomplished. This may cause one to start seeing as pointless the setting of goals, any goals, other than “do what you can, see what happens.” And this is hard for a modern person – we are conditioned to have clear “objectives…” How do you reconcile this with Laozi’s “muddled, confused, unclear,” even, in some translations, “dumb?” You’re after something elusive. You know, normally, when “the mountains are no longer mountains,” this is supposed to mean you have transcended something ordinary, something mundane… and then with taoism, the next thing that happens is, the mountains are mountains again, you’ve transcended your transcendence, you’re back to normal, to the ordinary, to the I Ching’s “sameness with people” – which you were working so hard on trying to leave behind – so, now what?.. Now that your “next level” is all backward?..
It’s just one example, all of it is tricky like that… And the second difficulty is, of course, discipline. You can stop anytime, you can slack anytime. If you’ve accomplished something that you and others find useful, why not rest on those laurels? And if you haven’t, why bother?.. Why don’t you take it easy, the voice of inertia whispers. Why don’t you just stagnate and, down the road, embrace gradual, steady, friendly, easy degradation, like normal people do. Why don’t you find self-satisfaction in whatever you are and leave it at that?.. So, finding discipline to counteract this pull of entropy -- complacency, weariness, frustration, whatever – that’s not easy. I think the only thing that can help a beginner overcome these hurdles is a sense of destiny… if you find that you will not be at peace with yourself unless you keep it up with your taoist cultivation, this may be a sign…
17. What is the hard part of continuing and advancing in your practices?
This, too, keeps changing as you continue. But I would say the most difficult parts are the ones that don’t change readily, the overall setting of modern-day cultivation. When you went to school, ordinary school or college, your teachers were there every day (whether you enjoyed learning from them or not), your peers shared your lifestyle (whether you chose it or not), in other words you had a semblance of community that created a practice milieu that was not only tangible but also implied, you were permeated with a sense of being part of something – whatever it was, you were not alone in the endeavor. Taoist cultivation, in the West, in the modern world, can be a lonely affair. Learning to do your thing without the habitual reliance on it being “part of” a whole stratum of practices, without as much feedback and reality checks as you might want or need – that’s hard.
But, like with everything else, whatever is hard in cultivation is also its aspect. You learn to overcome, handle or let go of worrying about, as the case may be, the very hindrances and annoyances and deficiencies that are part and parcel of the process. The idea that it all could have been, should have been, undertaken in a different setting, e.g.. You learn about the flow of difficulties and your own resources in overcoming them – you learn things about yourself you wouldn’t know, let alone master and put to good use, if it was all somehow made perfectly easy for you… Cultivation in the modern world is not streamlined – you are in charge of creating that stream, that flow.
18. My question:
Shen to Chi to Jing.
You talk about this but I don't know about anyone else.
Why? Lost in translation? Intentionally obscured?
Where did you learn about it? From a teacher? Text? A "missing pattern" in the taoistic body of work?
Far as I’ve been able to discern, shen to qi to jing is a bona fide “taoist-immortalist” practice, a reflection of Laozi’s paradigm of “followers of life” (and also a stage of the process in alchemical taoism without which it simply can’t work). The substitution of the opposite, “taoist-sublimator” ideation, is the outcome of the overall life-defeating, afterlife-oriented, body-negating, humanity-derising trend, the turning of all human concerns and priorities on their head, toward the head and beyond – away from exploring the fullness and richness of life on earth, away from viewing the process of aliveness as a true value. So, yes, it’s probably intentionally obscured originally, and then lost in translation too. Many times over.
I learned of it from a teacher, yes, as an actual practice. But I also gleaned the picture for myself from many sources and experiences and meditating on these and contemplating our plight in general. I think it’s a matter of choosing a direction, in a sense – and Laozi’s “followers of death” are simply looking in the opposite direction… so we see different things.
19. What are the most important aspects of feng shui that taobums could realistically apply to their homes, in your opinion?
One important thing to understand is that there’s real feng shui and bogus feng shui, and people would benefit from educating themselves on the difference.
As for real feng shui, it’s hard to tell what’s realistic for “everybody” to implement. Feng shui deals with individual situations, there’s few universally applicable rules. I can mention some of these though. Many moons ago I asked a very high level feng shui master the same question, and she told me, “unclutter everything, repair everything that doesn’t work or else get rid of it, and keep everything clean. Feng shui starts with common sense.”
So, this is realistic for the taobums in their entirety I reckon. Someone who already has this generic but all-important base covered may want to start looking to feng shui for solutions to otherwise intractable problems. Feng shui is, to a great extent, about “prevention and treatment,” and then, once this is in place, it can get more ambitious and add the goals of the practitioner’s choosing. In Chinese history there’s many stories about people setting such lofty goals as, e.g., for a family to produce a king two or three generations down the road. How “realistic” such a goal would be for any given taobum, is not for me to speculate. But in classical feng shui, this is doable…
By the way, a Taiwanese friend told me a story about Chiang Kai-shek repeatedly sending spies to the birthplace of his adversary, the future Chairman Mao, in order to find that “king-making” site where he was beginning to suspect Mao’s ancestors were buried, for the purpose of destroying it so as to destroy Mao’s chances of advancing to power. Apparently the villagers refused to cooperate, pointing out all the wrong spots instead, which were then diligently blasted with dynamite by the nationalist troops… to no avail. Instead of the spies, Chiang might have changed history if he sent advanced feng shui masters there, who may have been able to locate the right spot!
Posted by OldChi on 10 March 2012 - 07:00 AM
There are three possible outcomes of Jing conservation.
1. You give in to fantasies and release your Jing...thus failing
2. You become a very angry and irritable person for 100 days
3. You become a Dynamo of energy and grow in strength and power in every area of your life
I have experienced all three of these outcomes when i attempted to conserve Jing in the past. Therefore there are 2 qualities that are required to conserve Jing successfully: Mental Clarity and Emotional Stability. Both qualities are complementary to each other.
If you do not have Mental Clarity then you will lose to your fantasies. If you do not have Emotional Stability then you will end up getting very angry and saying and doing dumb shit. Being grounded is very important in this practice.
The first couple of weeks are perhaps the most difficult because your not used to the increased Vitality and Horniness that comes with the practice but... eventually your energies plataeu and you will get used to it.
Mental Clarity becomes even more important as the 100 days go by because i have found that if you fantasize during the day but still don't release Jing...those fantasies will carry over to your sleep and it will find a way to release itself during dream-time. All of these qualities are built upon a certain level of maturity that has been reached through cultivation.
Benefits of Semen Retention
Conserving Jing really is a fantastic practice. When you conserve your sexual energy it really is amazing how powerful you become in your own life...but in order to conserve jing effectively and use it to your benefit you must learn how to channel the inner fire. If fire is not channeled properly then you will be come an extremely agitated person.
When conserving Jing it has been my experience that instead of exploding your sexual energy though your dick it will start exploding inwards and manifest in your everyday life. Everything i did developed a new level of intensity and involvement...I became more productive and motivated in all areas of my life: i did better in school, chi-gung, and in my interpersonal relationships.
People often wonder how great cultivators can dedicate 8 hrs a day to cultivating...but when you have so much excess sexual energy your whole being wants to DO DO DO.
You feel like you have so much energy that you can do anything...and this energy must be channeled into something be it your esoteric practice or you building a business. You become a great tool of manifestation...all you need do is choose something to DO. But if you don't properly channel it into something it can drive you crazy.
Perhaps the most important of all the things i learned while cultivating is that when the mind is not constantly bickering then conserving your Jing becomes a natural state. When you discipline the monkey mind then conserving is easy...for those whom struggle too conserve and find that they can't.....go back to the drawing board....sit...and continue developing clarity....when you approach this practice with a reasonable level of clarity...then it is as easy as breathing.
As a side not i'd say that conserving Jing along combined dual cultivation is in many ways a superior practice than celibacy...but one that takes a very high level of discipline and self-control.
On the other hand Celibacy paired with conserving is better for those that wish to not develop any attachments and do not want to be tied down by a partner (ascetics). In such cases it is a simpler and much better practice to cultivate.
I am coming back to edit this post because when i first wrote it i was ignorant of the fact that actually having a spiritual practice for transmutation of jing was so important....i did not realize this simply because i was already practicing my Nei-Gong very intensively and had never conserved without it.
Having a transmutation practice is very important in order to effectively channel the built up sexual energy. If you don't already have a spiritual practice then some simple practices for this purpose are Meditating on the Lower Dantien or The Microcosmic Orbit. Both meditations can be found readily available online and are discussed in this thread.
-My 2 cents, Peace
Posted by Encephalon on 18 August 2011 - 10:01 AM
Posted by bamboo on 19 September 2013 - 12:17 AM
Qigong masters sharing their views of Meridians
This article was published in the monthly magazine "Qigong and Sport" in Xi'An, Shagxi province of China in the 1990s. In this article some Qigong masters who belong to different schools share their visions of the energy channels' system. Strikingly, their descriptions are very similar, which provides another evidence of some objective reality beyond our limited perception.
It is obvious that in our normal state of awareness it is impossible to perceive the energetic form of Qi directly. A University-trained Chinese medicine doctor can only assess the flow of Qi by analyzing the signs and symptoms - such as looking at the appearance of the patient, hearing the voice, palpating the pulse or observing the tongue. However, direct perception of Qi can be achieved by prolonged Qigong practice, involving meditation and careful self-observation. The ability to perceive Qi directly is termed as "internal vision" in Qigong. The accounts below come from advanced Qigong masters who mastered their internal vision and use it to help their student and patients.
General notes about the system of energy channels and circulation of Qi
An article by Zheng Jingyue, Zhang Jilian
"Internal tunnels" can only be seen with "internal vision". This is still true in the modern days. Using the methods of "penetration", "visual dissection" and "micro-vision" by means of the Eye of Wisdom [tian mu or "heavenly eye" between the eyebrows] we could see that the tunnels are actually far from being "tubes". The thinner ones are more like silver silk threads; the wider - resemble the stripes of light. Interweaving, they form a cobweb engulfing all our tissues.
In the cross-cut, the tunnels are circular-shaped or oval-shaped, however sometimes they are of irregular shapes, and the substance flowing through them is similar to the liquid crystals of the LCD displays.
In ordinary people this substance possesses relatively dense texture with scarce amount of more "dispersed" areas. It flows slowly and steadily. In those who practice Qigong, the texture is more light and clear and it flows faster, with ease. In the epicenters of disease the substance has highly dense and heavy texture, it is dark-colored and moves extremely slow, sometimes even showing signs of complete stagnation.
Once we were doing a group session of Qigong therapy with external Qi emission. During the session many patients began to perform some spontaneous body movements. One lady ceased her movements abruptly and "petrified" in a rather extraordinary posture. In order to find out what was the cause of this, we had to use "penetrative vision". It was found that although the wider channels were about 4-5mm in diameter and should not have been causing obstruction of the flow, the substance in the epicenter of her disease became almost solid. That was the reason why the lady was fixed in this posture. After two days of continued practice her reaction on the external Qi emission became normal. The "penetrative vision" showed that due to stimulating action of external Qi the flow of the substance through the affected area was restored.
The color of the substance contained in the energy channels may vary too. Depending on the level of a person's Qigong practice, it may be colored from white and red - up to the purple/violet.
Also, depending on the level of one's Qigong practice and the degree of "opening" of the Eye of Wisdom, every person may perceive the picture of the energy channels differently. That is why we cite not only our visions here, but also the visions of our colleagues.
Master Zhang Xiaoyang
Zhang Xiaoyang: "Energy channels exist in a fluid state and to the person who can use internal vision, they present themselves as light. This light is the Qi itself. I observed energy channels as a fluid flowing into pre-defined routes in the tissues of skin, muscles, internal organs and fascia. Without any external influence the fluid moves slowly and the movement is almost unnoticeable. As its movement follows the complete cycle that correlates with the cycles of Heaven and Earth, movement of the Moon and Sun, at any moment of time which we would take it looks steady, immobile. However this is not true.
If we needle any acupuncture point, within a short period of time Qi activates and its flow in the given area of the energy channel speeds up. The Qi in turn moves the fluid which starts moving through the passages of the energy channels. Once the fluid reaches the following acupuncture point, its movement stops for a short moment and during this time the point lights up like a little star. After that, the fluid carries on with its flow [through the channel].
To sum up my observations;
1) energy channels in the human body are located at different levels and depths.
2) the width of the energy channels varies depending on the person
3) the width of the channels also fluctuates depending on time
4) the width varies in different areas of the channel.
In particular, applying various needling techniques, the width and the speed of the Qi flow in the channel will change. Speed of the Qi usually increases with intense stimulation. In the case of broadening of the channel, external stimulation of the "biologically active" point leads to the change of the color of the point's radiance.
Points located on a single closed path, glow similarly to the bigger and smaller stars of various luminosity. "Larger" points such as Bai Hui, Jing Ming, Da Zhui and Zu San Li would correspond to the stars of the 1st grade of luminosity whereas smaller points - to the stars of the 2nd and 3rd grades. Every point accumulates certain amount of electric energy and influences the functioning of the energy channel, playing a role of a "pump", stimulating the flow of Qi-liquid through the muscle tissues.
Regarding the "central-median channel" [known as Sushumna in Indian Yoga - O.A.], there are no references to it in the ancient [Chinese] scriptures teaching of energy channels. However, during my Qigong practice and experiments with acupuncture, by means of internal vision I could see the channel leading from Bai Hui point down to Hui Yin point, forming straight line through the trunk.
At the beginner's stage of Qigong practice this channel is very thin and hardly seen at all. However with some improvement in practice it becomes wider and looks like a transparent column of red light. In ordinary people, the "central-median channel" exists as a dashed line coming through the internal organs."
Master Lu Xuezhi
Lu Xuezhi: "Energy channels represent another vital system of a human being. In healthy people they are transparent, free [of blockages] and full of light. In those who are exhausted and ill, the energy channels look drained, dried, fainted, and "knotted", and in the origins of diseases "plugs" can be seen.
The channels of those who practice Qigong are free, radiate bright light and filled with Qi. Qigong helps to utilize full potential of this another "vital system". Energy channels also serve as an important device providing the exchage of "informational energy" between the man and the nature. Subtle matter of nature, entering the "man's field" through the endings of energy channels in the skin, penetrates deeper into the channels and via this network distributes itself into internal organs and other parts of the body.
Energy channels also play role in breaking down and expelling harmful substances out of the body, and in the storage of the vital energy. They contribute towards keeping the organism healthy. Energy channels are able to convert the "subtle matter" of nature and "seminal Qi" accumulated in the internal organs into radiant crystallized substance and accumulate it within themselves. This accumulated energy in case of emergency or in need can be quickly discharged to replenish the lack of Zheng Qi ["upright" or anthipathogenic Qi] in the organs that underwent some pathological changes, or used to ward-off the external infection.
With the build-up of reserves of this "subtle matter" the person gradually becomes less dependent on food received through the digestive system. He/she will nonetheless have a continuous highly energetic supply that would fill all the organs and bodily structures with the "seminal Qi". As a result of these processes, the state of "refraining from food" spontaneously arises in the person - he/she stays healthy and full of energy while not taking the "gross" food.
Even if a person does not practice Qigong, his or her channel's Qi circulates anyway, although without any conscious control it just follows its natural way. If you try to use your will-power to change the natural flow, it will influence mainly the Yuan Qi (original Qi) which flows outside the channels. This intrusion without taking into account other relations in the energy body, may lead to an imbalance of the overall "Qi mechanics" and cause significant harm.
Opening of the Lesser Heavenly Circuit
In the course of diligent and regular Qigong practice, firstly Post-Heaven Qi [acquired after one's birth] and then Pre-Heaven Qi [given before the birth] begins to circulate through the energy channels. Breaking though the barriers of Wei-Lu, Jia-Ji and Yu-Zhen, it forms the ring of circulation along the Lesser Heavenly Circuit [also known as Microcosmic Orbit represented by Ren and Du Mai channels along the midline of the body - O.A.]. Those who have enough internal energy can "break through all barriers with a single arrow".
With the opening of the Lesser Heavenly Circuit, according to the principle "the water of the prominent rivers overflows into tributaries" 12 primary and 8 extraordinary vessels begin functioning. Following that, the rest of the "channel-sons" and "collateral-grandsons" regain their permeability so the "Greater Orbit" of the "Lesser Heavenly Circuit" is formed.
Internal Qi in the organism of a practitioner begins to ascend and descend freely, enter and leave, uninterruptedly circulate. This provides for spontaneous "Qigong training" 24 hours a day. There is a transition happening from the situation when the person trains "post-heaven Qi" to the situation when "pre-heaven Qi trains the person". Everything ill and harmful leaves the body. Transformation happens on the cellular, molecular and nuclear levels. The exchange of internal energy from largely chemical becomes atomic. The work of the vital system becomes more orderly, and a full re-birth of the body follows. The very foundation of life is strengthened.
Those who do not practice Qigong or only train the "post-heaven Qi" doing Qigong forms and sequences, cannot reach to the arrival of the "heavenly original Qi" and fullness of the internal Qi. In this case, there is not enough Qi to fill up the minor energy channels, which leads to stagnation. As a result, stimulation of blood capillaries weakens and 70-80% of them simply do not work. This in turn is reflected in the body metabolism which leads to inevitable [negative] manifestations in general well-being.
Not only blood capillaries are associated with the minor energy channels. In fact every pore on our skin is connected to them. If the True Qi (Zheng Qi) fills the channels, the "body breathing" starts to form and the person gains the ability to absorb "subtle matter" from the "human field" directly through the pores, in addition to the ordinary way of breathing through the lungs. The arrival of "body breathing" opens avenues to some deeper levels of achievement such as "restoration of the intra-uterine breathing", "leaving the senility and coming back to the childhood" [i.e. reversal of the natural processes of aging - S.S.].
The progression of Qigong practice
Regarding the Taoist concept of "internal circulation of civil and martial Qi" and "black and white channels" forming a curved line above the Du Mai (Governing vessel), the author and some of his students could observe them at a certain stage of their practice, after the appearance of the "central-median channel".
In the beginning of work with the "central-median channel", there is a sensation of a soft "tissue" of Qi, moving along the vertical line of the body. Then, the luminous tube is formed, stretching between Hui Yin point up to the nostrils, which later joins Fan Xue point in Bai Hui area [top of the head - O.A.]. Between the vertex and the perineum a vertical column is formed resembling a luminescent "daylight" lamp about 5mm in diameter. When the "wonder pearl" (Dan) starts moving through the channel, it changes its light from red to white. Following that, two channels appear by themselves respectively on the left and on the right. At first they are felt more like movement of the stream of Qi, and then start to emit the light by themselves.
With the absence of the "central-median channel" the Qi collected from the Cosmos comes through biologically active points and pores of the skin, and circulates through the surface of the skin which leads to the increase of its temperature.
After opening of the "central-median channel" and Fan Xue point, the Cosmic energy like a waterfall rushes into this channel, which instantaneously sparks up with golden light. When this light fills up the whole body, a person starts to feel a powerful warmth inside and outside. Sometimes this "luminous energy" penetrates the body and goes straight into the ground, connecting the Man with Heaven and Earth. Man, Heaven and Earth become an indivisible One.
Sometimes the "wonder pearl" ["dan"] appears, which descends down into the area of the perineum, drifts back into the "white channel" and comes up above the Du Mai vessel. Then it comes into the head and descends down the left channel. Once it reaches the perineum again, the "pearl" enters the "Black channel" and following above the Du Mai vessel, comes to the head again to descend down the right channel.
With the advance of the training level, the meridians, collaterals, the central-median channel and black and white channels constantly widen up and eventually merge with each other. The "luminous energy" fills up the whole body, the boundaries of the channels dissolve.
It is said that "Every inch of the body becomes a biologically active point, and the whole body becomes a Dan Tian". Thus the historic potential of the energy channel system is actualized. In the course of Qigong training it reaches its peak of development."
Original translation from Mandarin Chinese to Russian is done by S. Sergeyev, 1997. Russian translation can be found here.
Cross-translation from Russian to English is performed by Oleg Amiton, 2008
Posted by dawg on 26 June 2013 - 02:23 AM
I am posting this in hopes that it might be useful to someone who is actively trying to reach awakening … it is essentially a road map describing my own journey down the last section of the path to enlightenment…
From the very beginning, my meditation was focused on one thing only… silencing the voice of my mind (delusion)… then destroying that voice completely… all of my meditation practice was insight meditation, and because I made steady progress from beginning to end, I never tried anything else… my insight meditation consisted of fixing my awareness on my nose, and passively observing my breath as it went in and out of my nose…while repeating “Buddho – Buddho – Buddho”… then when I became proficient in Samadhi (concentration), I started doing investigation of my mind… I first spent a few weeks at a Theravada Forest Monastery in the north of Thailand… I did this several times, but just when I started to get results, it would be time to leave… so I decided that the next time I would stay for as long as I got results… and I ended up staying for a full year, during which time I got rid of my anger and greed and reached equanimity… then I did solitary meditation at a house in the mountains (here in Thailand) for a year… then spent another year at the monastery primarily doing “body investigation”… then again I returned to a house in the mountains to do solitary meditation … after doing “body meditation” at the monastery I had reached a high level of attainment, but was unsure of what to do next…so I decided that I would attempt to reach awakening, or to at least scout out the territory… but I realized that I didn’t really have a clue where to start… so I decided that since the process of meditation and awakening takes place in the mind, knowledge of how the mind works would be extremely useful… so I surfed the internet looking for research and other information to update my knowledge about how the mind worked… after I digested it all, I wrote a short summary of it for my own use (conscious & subconscious mind… see below) which also includes my own observations and insights… with this information I could see how to proceed, and why… so I then wrote a step by step “road map for awakening” for myself that took me to awakening… see below)… then after my awakening, I wrote a description of what I experienced when I awakened… (awakening … see below)… later I wrote an epilogue describing how I felt 6 months after awakening… see below…
CONSCIOUS MIND & SUBCONCIOUS MIND
(Summary of my research and insights)
The left hemisphere of your brain was generated from your father’s DNA, and contains your conscious mind, which is the male mind (Yang), and seventh chakra… the right hemisphere of your brain was generated from your mothers DNA, and contains your subconscious mind, which is the female mind (Yin), and sixth chakra (third eye)… the conscious mind is “father sky”, the subconscious mind is “mother earth”…
THE CONSCIOUS MIND
THE CONSCIOUS MIND IS A SERIAL PROCESSOR (with only one image or thought at a time, in a lineal sequence). The conscious mind can process 40 bits (nerve impulses) per second… the conscious mind understands “words” and “logic”, it is very “rational”…
THE CONSCIOUS MIND IS THE MIND OF OUR PHYSICAL BODY AND ITS SENSES… “Consciousness” is usually defined as being aware of the physical senses… if a person cannot see, hear, smell, taste, or touch, they are said to be “unconscious”…
NOTE... The “conscious mind” is used to survive in the physical world (world of the body’s senses)… The conscious mind is concerned with our personality and the survival of our body… when a person reincarnates, their past personality and conscious mind becomes a part of their subconscious mind, and a new conscious mind and personality is created… When a baby is born, it is taught (conditioned) how to survive in the physical world (physical survival), and how to survive within the context of the culture that it is born into (personality)… The conscious mind is just a temporary superficial interface that allows our spirit to reincarnate in a physical body, and experience the physical world… while our subconscious mind is the eternal spirit that we are, that is connected to, and is a part of the spirit universe
THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND IS A PARALLEL PROCESSOR (with many images and thoughts arranged in many different complex patterns and structures simultaneously). The subconscious mind can process 40,000,000 bits (nerve impulses) per second, so it is 1,000,000 times more powerful, complex, bigger, or faster than the conscious mind… and can think hundreds or thousands of different thoughts simultaneously… the subconscious mind understands “visual images”, “emotions” and “feelings”; and is totally “irrational”… the subconscious mind controls our body… it keeps our heart beating, our lungs breathing, our stomach digesting our food, etc… it repairs and replaces the cells of our body… it creates our health or sickness… this is why the Buddha said that “every man is the author of his own sickness or health”… the subconscious mind is extremely powerful, but we seldom use more than a tiny fraction of its power, because we are unaware of it…
If you see someone that you know; your subconscious mind “recognizes them” (visual image), and your conscious mind “remembers their name” (word)… this is how they work together…
The conscious mind cannot cope with the simultaneous "multiple images and thoughts” in the subconscious mind, which is the reason why the subconscious mind is subconscious to the conscious mind. The conscious mind is simply unable to process and "be conscious" of the complexity of the "subconscious mind”…
NOTE... If a “normal” mundane person were to unwittingly make their subconscious mind conscious, they would “think” (a logical lineal sequence of thoughts in their conscious mind) that they must be going “crazy”; because of the flood of conditioned multiple interacting reflex thoughts that would flood through their mind. Clinical insanity is when the subconscious mind of a mundane person becomes conscious, when he has tapped directly into his “spirit”, and neither the mundane person, nor the mundane world around him, understands what is happening… but this is also why some cultures consider “crazy people” to be “holy”, and why some “holy men” appear to be crazy… likewise a meditator who unwittingly makes his subconscious mind conscious, might “think” that meditating has made him crazy, and so be afraid to meditate any more… but if you recognize it as simply the natural state of the subconscious mind and are not afraid, it is no problem… it is fear of it that is the problem… if you ever fall into fear, simply start repeating “Buddho… Buddho… Buddho…” again and again until you feel safe… it will anchor you to something good, and protect you from fear…
NOTE… When our subconscious mind becomes conscious, we have the potential to instantly and spontaneously “know” (with certainty) even the deepest and most complex universal knowledge and truths…
NOTE… The subconscious mind simply collects information. It takes in every bit of input whether it is positive or negative. It does not make judgments about the information that it collects since that is the responsibility of the conscious mind. Every sight, sound, taste, smell, or anything we've experienced since the day that we were born (and what is carried over from past lives...karma) is stored in our subconscious mind for future retrieval…. Our subconscious mind is similar to a six-year-old child. It is innocent, naive, and wants to help us in any way it can, but has no idea how to help us. The subconscious mind wants to do the “right thing”, but it can only respond with what it has been conditioned to believe is the right thing (“mundane reality”, usually “ignorance”), so that it does not always make the best of choices…
NOTE... The subconscious mind is “telepathic” and can hear the thoughts of other people, and communicate with the subconscious minds of other people, without our conscious mind being aware of it… this is what is called “intuition”…
NOTE... Psychologists or behavioral change experts speak about writing goals or affirmations. Affirmations are positive, goal-directed phrases that are worded as if we have already achieved these goals… experts suggest we review our goals or repeat affirmations just before bed or just as we wake up… The reason is at these times our brainwaves are naturally in the correct state (the alpha frequency) for communicating with our subconscious mind. In alpha, the conscious mind is in abeyance, and we can speak directly to the subconscious mind… let's say you wrote the affirmation, "I love to exercise and have a compulsion to leap out of bed and exercise for 30 minutes every morning"… If you were in the alpha state, this message would go directly into the subconscious mind, unchallenged. But if you forgot to repeat affirmations just before bedtime, and repeated them while in the beta frequency (normal awake conscious mind) instead? Do you really think you could say this phrase without, at least, rolling your eyes? And most likely, that little voice in your conscious mind would be saying, "yeah, right"…
Our subconscious mind is running our life!
We have two separate minds that create our conscious mind’s controlling voice. There is the conscious mind that can think freely and create new ideas “outside of the box of our conditioning”. Then there is the subconscious mind, which is basically a super computer loaded with a database of programmed behaviors, that we carried with us from a past life (karma), or that we acquired before we reached the age of six or seven (when we were most gullible and impressionable) and were taught (programmed to believe) what the adults called “reality” (how to think and act)...
The subconscious mind cannot move outside of its fixed programs… It automatically (reflex) reacts to situations with its previously “conditioned” behavior responses; it works without the knowledge or control of the conscious mind. We are usually not even aware that most of our actions are subconscious conditioned reflex responses.
Studies from as far back as the 1970’s, show that our subconscious mind begins to prepare for action just over a third of a second before we consciously decide to act. In other words, even when we ‘think’ that we are consciously deciding to act, it is our subconscious mind that is actually making the decision for us...the subconscious mind is controlling us 95% of the time! Neuroscientists have shown that the conscious mind of a normal person provides 5% or less of their cognitive (conscious) activity during the day, and 5% they say is for the more aware people, many people operate at just 1% consciousness.
It is the subconscious mind which shapes how we live our life… Note that the reason that an enlightened person is said to be “awake”, is because they are no longer in the “hypnotic trance” of conditioned behavior and sleepwalking through their life… they have awakened.
Most of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior depend on the 95% of brain activity that is usually beyond our conscious awareness, which means that at least 95% of our life is conditioned behavior that comes from our subconscious mind. Our life reflects our subconscious conditioning, because the job of the subconscious mind is to create a “reality” out of our subconscious conditioning. If our subconscious conditioning is negative (caused by negative experiences), our subconscious mind will recreate those negative experiences in our life, again and again.
The voice of our thoughts, is not our voice… it is the voice of all the people who have conditioned us… our thoughts are all the “value judgments” and “control trips” that our family and our culture have programmed us with, to control our behavior… our awareness is clean and pure… the defilements in our mind are these conditioned “value judgment” and “control trip” thoughts that other people have filled our mind with.
Whatever thoughts that our mind keeps returning to, are unresolved issues… If we have unresolved issues, it is usually because we have been conditioned with contradictory behavior… that is to say that we have been conditioned to do something (because it’s “good”), and also conditioned to not do the same thing (because it’s “bad”)… unresolved issues are usually a result of this situation… this situation produces conflict in our mind, so that we like to do something, but we feel guilty about it, and consider ourselves a bad person because we do it… it is a conflict of two conditioned value judgments… to resolve the issue we must make a choice of one or the other… either we don’t do “it”, or we do “it” and let go of our guilt about doing “”it” (assuming that we are not hurting anyone, including ourselves). “Guilt” is nothing but a control trip that someone has put in our mind to control us… we should not be deceived into thinking that it is a “natural response” to the “badness” of our actions.
If we have negative conditioning (caused by negative experiences) in our subconscious mind, 95% of the time we will recreate those negative experiences in our life. Most of the conditioning in our subconscious mind is control trips based on negativity and fear that were put there to control and shape our behavior… we have been conditioned by our parents and other family members, school teachers, religious teachers, friends, enemies, books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, movies, the internet, the government, etc… For example : if we are repeatedly told that we are “bad”, we are “stupid”, we are “worthless”, we are “incompetent”, we are a “failure”, or we fear what other people are thinking about us, or fear that we will not be accepted loved and respected as we are, fear that we are inferior to other people in some way, etc… these thoughts will keep popping into our mind, and this will cause us to have low self esteem, and a negative opinion of ourselves, and to believe that we are worthless. We then hate ourselves so are unable to accept and love ourselves as we are, and as a result we are unable to love others...
Our subconscious mind is conditioned by a form of hypnosis that we call “education”… we are conditioned (hypnotized) when we voluntarily agree to believe what “respected authority” (parents & family, school teachers, religious teachers, government, media, friends, etc.) “suggest” to us… they suggest to us what things are good or bad, true or false… how we should behave, how we should think, what is “normal”… what is “reality”… so that the 95% of the time that we are controlled by our subconscious mind, we are in a hypnotic trance… simply reacting to stimulus with conditioned reflex behavior… our conscious mind’s “ego” thinks that it is making all of our decisions, that it is in control of our fate, but in reality it is just a puppet of the subconscious mind…
We are taught to be greedy, and to want as much money as we can get… we are taught to chase pleasure and sex… we are taught to get angry when certain things happen to us… we are taught that what we believe is right… and anyone who disagrees with us is wrong… and so on. And as time passes we forget that we have learned these behaviors from other people, because they become automatic responses, so that we think that they are our natural and spontaneous reactions… and so that we become locked into a mundane hypnotic trance state that we consider to be “REALITY”… we are like “zombies”… THIS CONDITIONED MUNDANE REALITY IS THE IGNORANCE AND DELUSION THAT IS CALLED “AVIJJA”… this MUNDANE REALITY is the “DELUSION” that we must see through to liberate our mind… then it is as if we “awaken” from a long sleep, and see the true nature of our existence.
But be warned that Avijja (mundane reality) has one last trick… it will try to convince you that you will “go crazy” if you let go of mundane reality… don’t believe it, you will “go sane”, and you will be free… forever and ever…
MY ROAD MAP FOR AWAKENING
(My strategy for attaining awakening)
Meditation… The whole object of meditation from start to finish, is gaining control of, and silencing the voice of the mind… so that we can investigate the mind and purify it… then permanently destroy the voice of the mind by destroying “Avijja”, the delusion that is the source of that voice… when we have destroyed “Avijja”, all delusion falls away and we become awakened… and we clearly see the truth of our existence… (it does not matter what method we use to purify the mind, and destroy Avijja, that is of no importance… all that is important is that the method works)…
Breathing during meditation… When meditating and observing our breath, we should not control our breath with our conscious mind, but instead let our subconscious mind do our (automatic) breathing for us, then we should be aware that by observing our (automatic) breath that we are observing our subconscious mind, and get in sync with it, and then simply let go, and let it “lead the way”… this helps to set up “investigation”, or set up “communication”, and/or “interaction” with the subconscious mind…
Meditation in solitude…To reach awakening, it is very helpful (maybe necessary) to have days or weeks of uninterrupted and undisturbed meditation in solitude… away from the sights, sounds, and constant interruptions of the mundane world, away from all other people… to develop and sustain the necessary intensity of “concentration” and “determination”… the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of desolate unspoiled nature is the most ideal environment for meditating in solitude…
It It is necessary to have concentration… The action or power of focusing one's attention or mental effort… dealing with one particular thing above all others…
It is necessary to be deft… moving or acting in a quick, smooth, and skillful way; clever, showing good sense and skill in ...
It is necessary to be cool… in a composed and unconcerned manner…
It is necessary to be efficient… expending the least effort for maximum result…
It is necessary to have determination… unshakable “intent”…
TO DESTROY “AVIJJA” (delusion) WE MUST UNDERSTAND :
1)… “WHERE IT IS”
2)… “WHAT IT IS”
3)… “WHAT IS ITS WEAKNESS”
4)… “HOW IT CAN BE DESTROYED”
RESULTS OF MY ANALYSIS
1)… “where it is”… the first major insight on my path to “awakening”, was when I suddenly realized that my subconscious mind was my “Citta”… and since I knew that Avijja (delusion) and the Kelisas (defilements) were in my Citta, that meant they were in my subconscious mind…
2)… “what it is”… the second major insight was that a single conditioned reflex response in our subconscious mind is a “Kelisa”… and that the self reinforcing structure of interconnected conditioned reflex responses in our subconscious mind that we call “mundane reality”, is “Avijja”…
3)… “what is its weakness”… so how do we “fight” Avijja” (DELUSION) and destroy it… we can’t punch, kick, bite, stab, or shoot Avijja, nor beat it to death with a big stick… Avijja is not physical, nor is it even “alive”… so how do we fight something that is not physical or even alive… Avijja (delusion) has no awareness of its own, it is just a system of programmed reflex reactions stored in the subconscious mind that we call “mundane reality”… when we realize this, we have understood how the magician (Avijja) does its trick, (how we are deluded) so we are no longer fooled by it… we have discovered both the strength and the weakness of Avijja… and because we now understand its trick, we have already greatly diminished its strength (its ability to control and deceive us)…
4)… “how it can be destroyed”… It is not possible to “delete” anything from the subconscious mind, it remembers and records everything permanently… But we created Avijja (“mundane reality”) in our subconscious mind by accepting and believing mundane information and ideas, that we were taught were “true” (real, reality)... We were taught how we should respond to every possible situation, what we should like and dislike, etc… so that, 95% of our cognitive thoughts and actions are really just “programmed reflex reactions” dictated by our subconscious mind… this is “Avijja”, the “mundane reality” or “delusion” that we want to destroy…
But consider that if we created Avijja (“mundane reality”) in our subconscious mind by accepting and believing mundane information and ideas, that we were taught were “true” (real, reality)... it is possible to reprogram our subconscious mind with a stronger new “awakened reality” based on the “truth of our existence”, that supersedes mundane reality, replacing it as the new default reality… This I now realize, is why the monk who taught me, had me do body investigation… body investigation is just a way to reprogram the subconscious mind to see the truth of our body… the truth of our existence…
So it is possible for me to use whatever knowledge and skills that I have, and my understanding of the conscious and subconscious mind to reprogram a new awakened default reality… so starting now, the “middle path” of the Buddha IS my new default reality… I will do this by using “concentration”, “deftness”, “coolness”, “efficiency”, and “determination”… by continuously reaffirming to my subconscious mind that “reality” is the “truth of the middle path”… and by “intently” believing ( having my mind and will focused on this one specific purpose) and acting as if it already was the new default reality” (this is important), and I will even “intently” thank my subconscious mind for making it so (this is important too, remember that our subconscious mind is not only aware, but it has more awareness than our conscious mind)… and by continuously reinforcing the truth of the middle path as the existing new awakened default reality, while continuously reinforcing the idea that mundane reality was just childish ignorance… I can make the new “awakened reality” stronger and stronger, as I make the “mundane reality of delusion” weaker and weaker… then when the new “awakened reality” becomes stronger than the “childish ignorance” of mundane reality (Avijja)”, delusion will break up and be permanently destroyed… that will be the moment of “awakening”…
(Written days after I awakened)
I had been doing intense solitary meditation for many weeks trying many different strategies to get into and reprogram my subconscious mind, and/or trying to establish better communication with my subconscious mind, without any noticeable results… then one day without warning, and when I least expected it, I awakened…
One minute I was listening to a bird chirping, and the wind rustling the leaves on the trees, the next minute I was inside my subconscious mind and could visually see Avijja (mundane reality) like it was a huge dam breaking up, making deep rumbling loud sounds, and also “zinging” high pitched sounds, that seemed oddly musical… It was like a musical earthquake… This was accompanied by blinding flashes of light, like flash bulbs on a camera going off in my face… And then the sea of information and thoughts (my subconscious mind) that had been held back by the dam (of mundane reality) swept out over me, carrying me away... I could hear the devas (heavenly beings, my spirit guides) excitedly cheering me on, laughing and clapping like fans at a football match… So I felt very reassured that I was “safe”, and that whatever was happening was a very positive development, so I had no fear… Instead of trying to get out of this sea of thoughts which was my subconscious mind (remember I had just spent weeks trying to get into my subconscious mind), I kept pushing deeper and deeper into it… I was like a scuba diver systematically descending into the depths of the ocean... I would go deeper into this sea of thoughts (exploring), and then pause for a while observing what was going on and acclimate myself to the intensity, then go deeper exploring again and pausing to observe and acclimate myself again so that my awareness always remained clear and lucid… I did this for about a day and a half, until I reached “the bottom”... I then spent more than a week, day and night, submersed in this sea of thoughts, feelings, and images exploring and observing, and all the while I was in a state of extreme bliss... I laughed a lot, not because anything was humorous (although many things were), but because a zillion volts of pure joy was shooting up my spine (kundalini ?)… Both my conscious mind and my subconscious mind were conscious to me, and I was in both the physical world and the spirit world at the same time. My third eye was wide open… My two minds (two lobes of my brain) talked to one another as if they were two different people, while I was both of them. At one point I could see multiple copies of myself everywhere doing different things, and each of them could see all the other copies, and I could see all the other copies they were seeing, etc… it was like being in a hall of mirrors…
My subconscious mind seemed to have no limitations... It could fragment into a multitude of many minds, all thinking different things, and I could keep up with all of them… the subconscious mind “thinks” with moving images (eyeball movies) like the dreams we have when asleep, or drug hallucinations, both of which occur in the subconscious mind… and with words, feelings, and emotions… It is impossible to describe with words, the many different things that I saw and experienced… There are no words to describe it, and even if there were, no one would understand the words, unless they had personally experienced what the words described… It seemed that the whole universe was available, but most of it didn’t interest me any more… I saw the “Akashic Record”, but things like “’past lives” seemed totally irrelevant and uninteresting, and the only thing that interested me was what my subconscious mind was doing NOW in this moment, in this life… I don’t remember sleeping, but one or both of my minds could have gone in and out of one pointedness (total concentration) without me having any awareness of time passing, without me even noticing… or I could have been “asleep” & “awake” at the same time (asleep in the physical world and awake in the spirit world, or asleep in the spirit world and awake in the physical world), a state that I have experienced many times before... My only awareness that time was passing, was that the sun kept coming up and going down, I was always in the “now” (and still am)… I fasted most of the time, not because I decided to fast, but because I never got hungry and my body didn’t seem to mind, but I drank a lot of water... The devas stayed with me the whole time, which made me feel very safe and protected… It took me two full days to come completely out of my subconscious mind, and totally back into my conscious mind again exploring and observing, pausing and acclimating as I did so…
The weirdest and most unexpected part of it all, is that with the destruction of delusion, my subconscious mind which now contained my new “awakened reality”, fused with my conscious mind, and now it is a “soul mate” (??? union of yin and yang ???)…whereas before I never thought much about my subconscious mind, I now love my subconscious mind, and I can feel its love for me… in any case it is my spiritual partner and best friend, who will help me in any way that it can… at first my conscious mind felt that it was really very very very strange having this “other person” (other conscious mind) in my body with it (“what now ? who the hell is this ?”)… until it realized that it was the same subconscious mind... (“is that you Dawg ? I didn’t recognize you”)… “Dawg” is the name of my subconscious mind… my subconscious mind adopted the name “Dawg” several years ago, so that it would “know” for sure when I was talking directly to it… I can say “hey Dawg ! listen up, I want to talk to you”… and Dawg listens… Dawg dictates to me what to write, then edits it after I type it… my conscious mind is just the typist)… my new awakened subconscious mind now makes me feel “whole” and “complete”, so that I love everybody now… (even if I don’t even like them !!!)… “you must love yourself, before you can love anyone else”, comes to mind… although my communication with my subconscious mind (Dawg) is now very much improved, it can still be difficult sometimes because the subconscious mind is so unlike the conscious mind… I have to use the right key words, mental images, and keep it simple… for all of its power and complexity; my subconscious mind (Dawg) is like a small child in some ways... or like a very gentle and brilliant simple minded giant with magic powers who knows absolutely everything… and because Dawg is now enlightened, whatever Dwag tells me is totally trustworthy… the absurdity of it all, still makes me laugh with joy whenever I think about it…
Every meditation method that I tried in the weeks before I awakened produced results, not only did I awaken, but I raised the Kundalini and opened my third eye, and also unified the yin and the yang… a grand slam… it was awesome… the smile on my face is still five miles wide…
(Written months later)
I can say without any doubt that “I am awake”… because if you are awake there is absolutely no way you could not know that you are awake… even if you were dead, you would still know that you were awake… it is impossible not to “KNOW”… if you wonder “IF” you are awake, you are not awake’’…
The extreme out pouring of bliss and love has subsided… I feel so different since I have awakened, but in the best possible way… and so many unnecessary things have dropped away that I feel as if my life before awakening is a “past life”… “I feel as if I have been reborn”… The change is permanent… and it seems that there is no longer any “need” to meditate, because my mind is totally empty, and because there is nothing in it to investigate or meditate about… but I can still call up a thought, observe it, and instantly gain insights, then let it go… although my mind is usually totally “empty”, I see and hear everything, it is just that my mind does not respond to anything…nothing arises in my mind unless I make an effort to cause it to arise, and it disappears as soon as I cease making the effort … I’m never bored, or aware of the time passing, it is always “now”… the normal state of my mind is for it to be filled with silence, which I now realize is “the sound of one hand clapping”…
My awareness lives in the present moment, the NOW !... my personality and my body are not “me”, they are just masks that I can put on and take off (as and when necessary)… the only thing remaining that I could call “me”, is pure awareness that is simply aware of being aware… and even that is just a part of a larger universal awareness… but I have never in my life felt so totally “normal”… this is obviously the way physical human existence is supposed to be…
When I was a small child I saw the world as a very “magical place” where everything that I saw or heard was “real” and “existed”… George Washington, Mickey Mouse, Dinosaurs, Spiderman, Grandpa and Grandma, Uncle Sam, Santa Claus, angels and devils, bed time stories, movies, etc, etc… were all equally real… when I learned what the adults called (mundane) “reality”, bit by bit the world lost all of its “magic”… but now that I am “awakened” I find myself once again living in a “magical” world where the “magic” is not only real, it is reality…
It is the subconscious mind that experiences awakening (a new reality), not the conscious mind… upon awakening, the conscious mind becomes empty with no mundane thoughts to distract it, so it lives in the NOW (present moment), the only place in the physical world that is real… which is the world of the body’s senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch)…
NOTE… As a child you believed that santa claus was a reality who brought you Christmas presents… then one day you realized he was not real (you awakened) and realized that your presents were put there by your parents… so you no longer believed in the reality of santa claus … but you still remembered who he was… you can’t just delete him from your memory… the memory remains, but you no longer believe he is a realityl… in the same way you can destroy avijja as a reality, but the memory of it remains… when you destroy the reality of Avijja (delusion), you no longer create any new karma… but your past karma is the memory of avijja, so it remains active until you die (even if you are enlightened)… then it drops away because you go to the highest heavenly realm, and no longer reincarnate…
NOTE… You have spirit guides that want to help and protect you, but they can’t help or protect you unless you ask them to help you and protect you, because they would be interfering… talk to them as friends and allies, and ask them to help you, and tell them “how” if you can (they can lead things to you, and you to things, without you even realizing that they are involved)… and don’t forget to thank them…
NOTE… Anyone dear to you who has died (parents, siblings, children, grandparents, spouses, friends) can hear you if you talk to them, most of them can come to you in an instant… call them to come… tell them that you love them and miss them, and pour out your heart to them… they are not “dead” (it is impossible to die, even if you wanted to), they are just someplace else…
NOTE… Learn to talk to your subconscious mind, ask it to help you… remember that it is more conscious than your conscious mind… and if you let it, it will love you unconditionally, just the way you are… tell it your dreams and aspirations… it can help you in ways that you cannot even imagine… it has complete control of your body…24 hours a day, it keeps your heart beating, your lungs breathing, etc, etc… your subconscious mind is always aware, it never sleeps, it is always taking care of you, every second of your life… and it is always listening to the thoughts in your conscious mind, and those thoughts create your health or disease…
Posted by Trunk on 18 March 2015 - 10:38 AM
Posted by adept on 07 April 2014 - 10:47 AM
Just some thoughts I thought I'd share from personal experience.
To really study and practice the Way, we must become self-reliant, allowing our own minds and hearts to guide us.
Break free from the shackles of organized religion, cults and spiritual groups. Become a solitary cultivator and tell very few people of your practices.
Be yourself, not how other's want you to be.
Cut back on 'spiritual' books. Too much, and clouding of the mind and confusion arise. If you must read spiritual literature, limit yourself.
Get out in nature, as often as possible, preferably alone and use every one of your senses to experience the wonders of life.
Meditation, contemplation, and observing the workings of the world and universe are all that's really needed.
We must become both teacher and student.
Zhuangzi Chapter 2:
'If you allow your mind to guide you,
who then can be seen as being without a teacher ?'
Posted by thetaoiseasy on 07 June 2012 - 04:06 PM
Posted by Ya Mu on 03 March 2014 - 10:27 AM
Reading several threads it became apparent that many posters are not familiar with the therapeutics/healing arts from China. Rather than reply in those threads and interrupt the topic, I created this thread and hope this helps to increase the knowledge.
source of article: http://qigongamerica.blogspot.com/
I would encourage other practitioners to add to this thread if they wish.
A Basic Primer on Chinese Medical Therapeutics
Posted by Ya Mu on 10 February 2013 - 09:16 AM
Master Wang's 3 things necessary in order to advance in qigong which I have found to be absolutely true:
2) Be a good & moral person
3) Daily practice
Other lists could include:
1) Balance in your life. If you like to garden do that. If you like to play music, do that, etc. Balance is needed.
2) Laugh and enjoy yourself. We only spend, in the overall scheme of things, scant nano-seconds (no, actually less than that), here on Earth in a life. Get the most out of it.
3) Live each moment in appreciation of every thing that you are doing at that moment and be in the moment. In other words, when you eat an orange EAT The ORANGE instead of eating it while you are engaged in anything else. Apply this to EVERYTHING.
Posted by manitou on 25 December 2014 - 01:44 AM
Many might remember the Stephen Stills song with this title: Love the One You're With. I woke up this morning with this song running through my mind.
(The particular lyrics of that song aren't pertinent to this discussion, only the title).
I've been in a relationship, an on and off relationship, for 30 years. I've tried countless times to end this relationship, but have never been able to. We've been married and divorced from each other twice, and we're still together. Unmarried, but together.
My whole life, the grass was always greener on the other side of the fence. This was just my make-up, and it was a recurring theme throughout my life. I always had one eye on the current relationship and the other eye wandering (not in an actual physical way, I wasn't actually BORN in West Virginia or anything!) I was always looking for something Better. But I was never without a relationship. I was capable of going to the lowest depths to find one; anything but being Alone.
So I guess this falls under the category of 'be careful of what you pray for' (at least, back when I used to pray to 'something')
For the first 25 years of this co-dependent, torturous relationship with Joe (due to our mutual alcoholic personalities), we made each other miserable. And he would go out and get drunk - skid row drunk - every time we had an argument for the first 10 years we were together.
But a funny thing has happened; maybe because our co-dependency was stronger than our desire to leave. A few years back, I was listening to my car radio and that song came on. Love the One you're With. And it hit me like a thunderbolt, although I had heard that song countless time before. Why not try actually loving this man? Why not stop looking for something better, or smarter, or someone of greater social stature? Just make the darn decision: love him!
And so began the process of acceptance. First of all, acceptance of myself, because I saw the tendency that had haunted me my whole life; never being satisfied with what I had. The second part was accepting Joe total for what he is, and not wishing he were different in some ways. What a huge difference this decision - merely a decision! - has made in our lives. I actually go out of my way to do nice things for him now. I count the blessings we have together, as opposed to focusing on the differences.
Well, relating this to my own spiritual growth, I must say that this has probably been one of the biggest components of it. It opened my eyes just a bit to unconditional love, to forgiveness, to remaining in one place and focused - and not 'waiting for the next one'. To be Here Now.
And most of all, to come to the realization that I Am responsible for my own happiness - not someone else. Someone else can never give it to me, I must give it to myself. What an incredible awareness this has been. And the funny thing is, we have a wonderful life together now; as I have changed, he seems to have followed suit. Or maybe I am just seeing it with different eyes.
I am very thankful today for this loyal friend of 30 years that has been part of me - and who has been the mirror for me to see the changes that I need to make within myself. And today, when we do have a bit of a dust-up, which is not real often any more, they blow over quickly. In fact, we now have a plan for any little spats we get into - we have a big trailer sitting up at the top of the property that he can stay in. But it happens hardly at all any more.
It seems that there are two dynamics within all of us. One dynamic is 'that which we want', and the other is 'that which we need'. I realize today that Joe has been the very 'lapidary' that I needed to smooth out my rough edges, and I have been that for him. I'm happy to say that today, we fit like a hand in a glove. But I would never have imagined, in my earlier life, that a fellow like Joe was what I needed. What a surprise.
Love the one you're with.
Posted by BaguaKicksAss on 06 March 2014 - 02:32 PM
Worth every minute of the 15 minutes practice .
Posted by Ya Mu on 06 October 2013 - 05:21 AM
I would like people to recommend particular practices that they have found beneficial. I realise that this can span a fairly wide area of experience, and so I hope others can respect that.
I think it would be particularly useful for people to discuss their own experiences, rather than to attack or disparage what others have, or are, doing....
A great idea.
I practice Stillness-Movement & Gift of the Tao High Level Neigong.
What makes a practice "High Level"?
I know you left the topic wide open to include all practices so I am speaking strictly from the perspective of neigong and mostly from the perspective of the practice of Stillness-Movement & Gift of the Tao High-Level Neigong.
It seems many think "High Level" means that someone is good at what they are doing. I can see that...if a person reaches a peak of development in any system then they have reached a high level within that system.
But in neigong, and specifically in Stillness-Movement, High - Level means the level of Light.
In terms of development one can look at the model (which I don't) of Qi-Jing-Shen-Light.
This can be simplified (oh boy, groan) by saying a person begins at the Qi level, works with Jing, and eventually, through much time&effort, reaches harmony with Shen. THEN they learn how to harmonize (dance in wu wei) and manipulate (our version of Wai Qi Liao Fa) LIGHT, the raw creative fabric of the universe that is the breath of Tao / God / Spirit / whatever word you call it doesn't even begin to describe.
This harmony with LIGHT includes a path of service with humanity & all of the life on Earth, as well as in other worlds & dimensions. A part of our practice, in Stillness-Movement, is dreamtime work. What one finds is that "dreamtime" is not only when we are asleep.
I call that "dancing in wu wei in harmony with Light" the process of following & acting from "Listening".
A quick example of this. Last night, about 11, all of sudden I knew I needed to go check on some puppies. I have learned to never ignore this prompting. I got out there and one pup had gotten out and into some netting and was all tangled with no possible way out. He was very frustrated and scared but I projected calmness to him and he immediately and patiently waited for me to untangle him. Yes, a very simple act. But sometimes these simple acts are quite profound.
Drew posted something to the effect that the healing at this level is not a "technique". I think I would agree with that. It is it's own thing.
Personally, in terms of what one can feel, of course we can feel the simple qi circulating in our bodies. Of course we can, with a simple setting of intent, feel it go anywhere in our bodies. But this is the simple beginning stages. The system is geared at raising the energy body vibrational frequency to the level of Light. One CAN feel this process as it happens. One CAN feel each energy center as it opens, expands, and becomes balanced. One CAN feel, when it happens, the connection with HEAVEN and the connection with EARTH. One CAN feel the promptings of the Listening process in a distinct manner. One CAN learn to stay in this awareness 24/7.
In Stillness-Movement, we have sitting, standing, walking, sleeping, dreaming, energy pattern movements with shamanic shifting (Gift of the Tao), and running (which itself has 4 publicly talked about techniques of it's own which include Stamina, Lightness, Qi pushing, and Swiftness).
So how does all this not conflict(?) with what I have posted before on the concepts of Chinese medicine (one of the authors of "Between Heaven & Earth", Efrem Korngold, speaks of these exact same concepts):
1) Low Level - Physical
2) Mid-Level - Mental
3) High Level - Only one goal in mind: Help others find & fulfill their destiny (destiny here is defined as that which the other person has already chosen)
It doesn't conflict because helping one to harmonize with their level of their own inner true self IS in harmony with Tao, in harmony with "God's will", in harmony with the flow of energy between Heaven & Earth. In harmony with "Spirit's breath".
Master Wang Juemin was mentioned and a book quote about him was referenced.
Let me tell you a bit about him as a person.
I have never in my life met anyone like him. Not even close. His compassion for others, his gentleness backed up by his raw power, his ability to always remain calm, the glow of his energy body - all this was far beyond what I could possibly describe. When I first met him I could feel him even before I got off the train. I had felt a buzzing for quite some time even before the train stopped. And when I first shook his hand I was briefly thrown out of my body when he said "So good to see you again, my friend".
Master Wang endured hardships that most would not have been able to withstand. Shot up in a firefight with Japanese soldiers and in coma with gangrene (healed with medical qigong). Jailed for over 17 years. Tortured beyond what any have described - which he CALMLY told me about. He CALMLY told me of his wife and son being taken to far away labor camps. He only said "All of China was insane then".
Master Wang was recognized by his peers as one of the more accomplished qigong masters in China and was recognized as a Chinese National Treasure.
One of his friends was a famous acupuncturist. He told me stories of Master Wang's feats which I never heard of from his own lips. He gave me a picture he took of Master Wang naked climbing out of a lake - It was dated as January something. The climate there was way below freezing. He also told me of a Buddhist monk who came from a long way off to challenge Master Wang to a sitting duration. Master Wang refused, but this rogue monk stayed for several weeks, stirring up trouble in the town until it became a matter of "town pride" - not his own. In order to preserve calmness for the town, he did do the challenge, and sat for another day after the monk got up. At which point the monk left and no longer stirred up trouble.
Master Wang studied with and received transmissions from 5 of the top qigong/neigong masters of his time. He ran a 100 bed medical qigong hospital with an amazing result rate - the efficacy of his medical qigong was and is beyond amazing. I used these methods in-clinic with tremendous success. Now my students are having these same types of success.
The experience of raising the vibrational frequency of the energy body, of learning how to project calmness to others, of learning how to dance in the wu wei, of learning how to "Listen", of learning how to manipulate Light in harmony with Tao. This is my experience and understanding of what High Level neigong means.
Posted by ॐDominicusॐ on 08 August 2013 - 01:21 PM
What's up fellow Bums? Been busy w/ work, life, and practice, but I did promise a few months back based on another thread that I would interview a Christian Monk that I am friends with, in regards to Christianity being a legit Path into Enlightenment, Tao, Union w/ God, The Supreme State, Mu, whatever you want to call it.
As far as I go, I have had various experiences practicing Christianity, various forms of Buddhism, Nonduality, Zen, Koans, Vedic Techniques, Kundalini Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and am basically a Universalist for the most part, so I am not here to impart any bias one way or another.
While he wished to remain anonymous because he is from a very strict and popular Monastery, he does mention some interesting things that many of his fellow "brothers" may not have agreed with. Hence the anonymity.
Is Christianity basically working on Enlightenment, Absolute Truth, Tao, Supreme, State, etc? Basically what all the Other Eastern paths are teaching/working on?
"Yes. If you look at Anapanasati as practiced in some parts of Buddhism, the point of the practice is to strengthen/realize Awareness itself, as well as what lies at the bottom of the breath(that's a little hint for you by the way since I know you're also working on this). That Awareness is the key to unlock the rest of the doors. When The Ego is detached from, you remain as Awareness, and then can merge with the Source of Awareness which is what everyone is working on, the Source being the same as what everyone is calling it by different names."
How does the Christian access Awareness and Detachment from Ego?
"There are a number of ways, but I will cover two of the most important. The first is the ritual of Baptism, which simply activates Grace. Once Grace comes over you, it is a direct experience and a living presence that indwells you from the top of your head and instantly gives you The Timeless Now, Transcendence, Detachment, Destroys the Ego, activated divine Love, and all that's left is you as Awareness devoid of everything else. Then just surrender and let go and you as Awareness will merge with the Source. There is then no more you to be found anywhere, but are also United with everything and everywhere at the same time.
As far as the first part above goes, there may still remain some fragments/pieces of ego left over that continue to stir up. With that, we do the Jesus Prayer focused on the Heart area where the access to the Source is. By doing the Jesus Prayer on this specific area, several things are accomplished. The ego is not only busy with the prayer, but also awareness learns pure concentration while ignoring all other subconscious arisings. Eventually, Awareness realizes the Source of thought and enters into it. The place is a few inches to right of the Heart. With Awareness resting at the Source of thought, eventually the whole Ego/Subconscious mechanism is pulled at the root and only Spontaneous Union and Grace remain."
Do many Monks reach these states that you speak of?
"Of course not. As with all institutions, there are members at various levels of growth and realization. There are also various ego games, traps, arguments, politics, and some who never reach perfection. However, with many elders deep in various levels of the perfected state, they tend to oversee selflessly the rest of the flock, and many times their own infused energies of higher states are enough to get the beginners started on their own path."
So there is such a thing as Infusing others with various activations that help them along?
"Yes of course. When you are in close proximity with an Elder who is far on the stage of perfection, their own Awareness is so expanded, it literally has an effect on your own. That's what Halo's are in all the Spiritual paintings, not just in Christianity but also in Hindu-Vedic depictions and also those of Buddha himself. The Halo is just the inner Awareness that is you, prior to ego and body. It eventually expands beyond the head and many times you can see it on the elders."
Are all those other Paths legit as well? Why did you choose Christianity instead of other paths?
"There are many Universal similarities in all the paths. Detachment, Awareness, the Source, Discipline, Wisdom, Knowledge, and an Absolute Truth that can be experienced which is the prior underlying reality of all of reality.
I tried various paths as a young man and college student and ended up staying with Christianity because the direct experiences and Grace came really fast for me. It took about a year of seriously getting into it that I started to experience ego death, the Now, Transcending all things (body, ideas, thoughts, self). Everything happened really fast through Grace. Some of the other paths I tried, I was getting experiences but they were at a snails pace. All that to say, I am not trying to discredit any of the other paths."
Some people say Christianity is just a go-to-Church feel good about yourself singy songy wishy washy type of Religion where the majority of followers don't get any huge internal breakthrough's.
"That happens with many paths. They eventually get watered down and become a facade of their former selves. Aren't various forms of hot-room Yoga's the hottest(pun intended) pop-forms of exercise in America these days? That's just one example.
The actual Yoga (meaning Union, or to Unite with the Source) is a very advanced system of remaining Aware of the Body and Mind in the midst of various poses, all leading back to strengthening Awareness. One of the benefits of Yoga is that you may come across physical attributes that are tied to the workings of the Ego such as various physical knots or childhood traumas that can be released during certain stretches. Just as well, the channel that the Ego uses to take it's place as a veil over Awareness can also be opened during Yoga practice.
So in essence, many of the Christian Monasteries, or even lay hermits, are genuinely working on inner planes through various degrees, techniques, practices, and Grace...all of which eventually lead to Tao, Source, God, Supreme, Absolute whatever you want to name the Nameless direct experience.
Christianity has also become a watered down fast food western version of preaching, singing, and one hour a week of service. To really have breakthroughs, requires lengthy time spent in practice, detachment, prayer, meditation, etc. When Jesus went into the Desert for 40 days, that is something every Christian should do. 40 days in any retreat or wilderness will bring out the worst of the ego, the perfect opportunity to see that it isn't you and detach from it as Awareness."
Did Christ exist and are his teachings real?
"When Buddha said not to take his word for it and to see if what he says is true through direct experience, the same thing applies to the teachings of Christ. We put his teachings into practice and eventually start experiencing fascinating states directly for ourselves. You yourself are the experiment, the laboratory for testing to see what happens. When you start to experience the same things Christ taught, that tends to solidify his existence. Also, many Monks adore the Gospel of Thomas. If you read that Gospel, many of the sayings there are very Nondual sounding and tends to link back to everything else in the East. He speaks about alot about Oneness that is experiential"
What about faith? I had a fellow argue with me that Christians have to use Faith and that since Faith is of the Ego, it's dealing with illusions of the mind
"You only use faith for a little while, say agreeing to trust in, or have faith that this path may possibly take me where I want to go. Once you do experience the things you were looking for within and without, then there's no need for Faith because at that point there's no other choice then to directly live from direct experience of the Absolute.
A person who tries any other path, you can say technically, is also using a form of Faith in it. If a person looks into Zen, and all of it makes logical, reasonable, and intuitive sense, well then they take the leap of faith(again technically speaking) and jump in head first.
Scientists also have Faith in the Scientific method. However it's dated and based on physicality as a rule that has its own sets of rules and limits. One of those rules being that an experiment has to be replicated/repeatable. However, some experiments, by their very nature, can never be repeated. In that case they are tossed aside as anomalies, however those anomalies can also be legitimate things.
Take for example this very moment right now. If there was a room full of scientists, they would clearly be able to observe and agree on this present moment, would agree it exists, would be able to record it, examine it, and pull up tons of data on it. However, once this moment is gone, that's it!!!! They can't ever reexamine it again or recreate it. So according to their own rules of the scientific method, reality itself is a anomaly. But I digress"
What about Christ saying he's the only way?
"Look at the context with which he's saying that. He's talking to a bunch of jews stuck in judaism, a path that does not lead to Enlightenment. Jewish Mysticism does start to touch on some of the subjects we have already discusses, but I'm talking about the normal Judaism of the day. Jesus is telling them to leave their dead ways and that his example and teachings are the only way to find what they are trying to find. It's basically a command in the heat of the moment.
If you look at what his Way is, it's a combination of ego death, enlightenment, Grace, Love, empathy, compassion, Tao, Absolute, Supreme, etc. So anyone who is working towards that goal is already following his path.
One of the factors of Christianity that is interesting that is not found that much in many other paths is that of Ego-Death through Grace by the Holy Spirit entering the top of the head and opening all the channels and illuminating Awareness, while detaching all else. I believe I've come across something similar in my studies of Kashmir Shaivism. Also some people claim that Kundalini is the Holy Spirit, however I'm not to sure about that as Kundalini tends to be from the perenium and up the spine to the crown, whereas the Holy Spirit enters the head and goes down tot he feet. I would have to brush up on my studies however by researching the word Grace and it's existence in all the other paths
On many occasions here during various services, you can feel the Spirit moving around the grounds and rooms of the Monastery. It enters you when you least expect it and slays or burns off any remaining ego fragments and fills you with divine transcendent Love & Bliss as a replacement. "
So the Christian Path is a legit path towards Enlightenment?
"Why yes of course. I understand you intend to share this discussion with a few brothers and sisters that are Buddhists and of various other paths. If they are already deep in their practice and making headway, then good for them, as it is exactly what Christ was all about.
The one thing I feel is necessary to say is that Eastern Christian practice as done in the Eastern Orthodox monasteries is a complete system from beginning to end. I say that, because I found early on that in many other paths, you can merge with the Source, however there still remain ego fragments and the whole of the subconscious stirring up constantly and causing troubles for the rest of one's life. In our school, through the Jesus prayer, all of that is eventually snuffed out and there is a completion stage of perfection where even the body is transformed and filled with light flowing through all the opened channels.
So there's a start and there's and end and can all be done in this lifetime. Of course the rest of life remains as a practice of making available to others the energies and Union that is within you by going out to the world and sharing the Light"
Anyway, I have a lot more to the interview, but these main q&a's were the most interesting. As far as I go, all my interest in enlightenment, health, channels, tai chi, light body, ego death, and so forth he covered for me.
Some things he mentioned, I have experienced through Christianity, while other things he mentioned to have been experiencing, I came across them after battles with koans, vipassanna, nondual inquiry, zazen, etc.....
just wanted to put that out there cause I personally see it as a legit path equal to that of the others. But there were some folks on here adamant that it's all bull. I think the perspective of my Monk friend who has been in the depths for a good two decades know and also comes from a similar background of having studied and tried various paths, gives us a cool internal perspective.
Enjoy!!!! (sorry for spelling as everything is transcribed and quickly typed from a telephone recording!!!!)
Posted by BaguaKicksAss on 10 June 2014 - 07:39 AM
- If a person only has half an hour to an hour per day to practice your system of Qigong and/or Neigong, what would you recommend they focus on and start with?
Always start with Purging – the Tonify – and then end with Regulation:
I start each morning with Pulling Down the Heavens 3 X - using a descending Ha sound.
Next I perform Old Man and Tide Pool X5 -
Then I perform the Daoist Yang Organ Exercise and the Daoist Five Yin Organ healing exercise.
From there I move into Standing Meditation for about 20 minutes
And end with Sitting Meditation for about 35 minutes
2. Can folks practice your methods and practices (from the books alone without any additional teaching? Are there problems they would run into from doing this? What about medical qigong from books only?
The goal is to provide you with excellent instruction from a number of these sources, that's why the books were originally written.
Each teacher’s personal experience should awaken and encourage you to go deeper into the most subtle levels of training..
Whenever a book cannot answer your questions, a teacher who has mastered the source material will be there to assist you in both learning and growing..
3. You had talked before about how beginning energy healers can sometimes — despite their best intentions — do more harm than good on an ill person, e.g. growing cancerous tumours instead of reducing them. Can you explain what beginning or intermediate students of Qi Gong medicine must practice in order to increase their healing effect vs. harmful effects. What are the most common beginners' mistakes you have encountered in your students?
It is important for the Medical Qigong Doctors to realize that the mind is something that they use, instead of seeing the mind as being something who they really are. The degree to which they realize their dominance over their own mind, directly corresponds to their own ability to energetically dominate and control the mind and thought projection. In the clinic, this understanding allows the Medical Qigong Doctor to externally focus and finely hone his ability to project Qi.
The first step towards mastering the energy of creation, is in attaining control of one’s Original Heart/Mind.
Since matter is defined as a combination of trillions of particles, atoms, and molecules arranged in various vibrational patterns, matter, energy, and consciousness are constantly being converted and reconverted into each other. Although the mind is considered a form of matter which operates at a higher energy level or rate of vibration, the more the mind becomes absorbed into the physical world, the grosser and more bound to the lower realms of sensory diagnosis it becomes. Therefore, the individual expression of the mind can become less conscious (i.e., asleep), or more conscious (awake), depending on which aspect of his consciousness he energetically “feeds.” As an individual’s consciousness and perceptual awareness continues to develop, his mind starts to oscillate at an even higher, more subtle vibration, and energetic potential for creating energy (tonification) or dispersing energy (purgation) is realized and manifested naturally.
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make in the clinic, can be divided into 3 important observations:
- 1st – The doctor not surrendering his acquired ego: Many times before treating a patient, the doctor will forget to surrender his acquired heart/mind to the Divine Mind. This prevents the doctor from receiving the subtle intuitive “messages” that are trying to inform him of the patient’s diseased state.
- 2nd – The doctor not dedicating the clinic for Divine Service: If the healing space is not dedicated for Divine Service before the doctor begins the treatment, the will and intention of his Original Heart/Mind will not combine with the Will of Heaven.
- 3rd - The doctor not asking permission to treat the patient - Because true healing is based on three levels (i.e., healing the Spirit Body, Energy Body, and Physical Body), many new clinicians either jump right in and start their practice as “technicians” instead of “healers,” or instead try performing all types of clinical “modalities” in hopes of trying to obtain certain goals without first checking to find out if this is for the patient’s highest good. This tends to be a common practice among many students who are not currently Apprenticing under older masters.
4. From what I've read, your training began primarily with the internal martial arts and eventually gravitated more toward chi kung therapy. Do you think that training the internal martial arts is an efficient way to build chi for a chi kung therapist, or should a chi kung therapist spend most of their training time differently? What would you say is the most efficient practice for a chi kung therapist to maximize their healing ability?
Every Medical Qigong Doctor has natural healing abilities. Some of these natural gifts are immediately “awakened” during the initial trainings, others must be developed through many hours of practice. In the system that I learned, Master Wong taught that all disciples will progress through four stages: The Martial Artist, Healer, Scholar, and Priest. I was told that all of these stages focus on health and healing. However, they must also be continually trained and embodied, in order for the disciple to understand the innate difference between using the “Knowledge” (defined as “information that is supported by facts, truths, or principles that have been gathered through study and investigation”) and “Wisdom” (defined as “the knowledge of what is Right or True – coupled with the insight and judgment to perform the proper action in application”) of these special abilities. When first training:
- The beginning Martial Artist focuses on protecting his body against physical harm
- The beginning Healer focuses on protecting his energy against disease
- The beginning Scholar focuses on protecting his mind against ignorance
- The beginning Priest focuses on protecting his spirit against the influence of “evil”
Although the methodology for each level will differ, eventually the goal for training the body, mind, and spirit will harmonize as “one.” This powerful union will either be positive or destructive, depending on the primary intention and main goal that subconsciously motivates and drives the actions of the practitioner. Therefore if your goal is to be a better Medical Qigong Therapist, no matter if you train Shengong (Spirit Skill), Qigong (Energy Skill), or Neigong (Inner Skill), simply focus all of your practice towards the goal of healing and serving others. Then, no matter which road you choose for training and developing Qi for healing, your body, mind and spirit will develop towards that particular endeavor.
There are always three levels to Daoist Alchemy trainings. And, the explanation of the teachings will vary from student to student, depending on the specific level of the disciple’s energetic evolution. There is a physical Yin and Yang energetic fusion (i.e., that occurs within the channels and the body’s tissues), a mental Yin and Yang energetic fusion (that occurs within the energies of the Hun and Po), and a spiritual Yin and Yang energetic fusion ( that occurs within the Original Heart/Mind and the Eternal Soul). For example, when the Five Spiritual Virtues of the Yuan Shen unite and fuse as One Qi, the Ling Qi (Spiritual Energy) of the body’s True Yin (i.e., the most subtle prenatal spiritual energy of the Original Earth – existing before the development of the body’s Water Qi) and True Yang ( the most subtle prenatal spiritual energy of the Original Heaven – existing before the development of the body’s Fire Qi) also merge into One. After the Yin and Yang merge into One, the “Golden Elixir” (i.e., the Celestial Spirit) will begin to awaken, form, and develop. This creates within the disciple an “open” spiritual state of mind, like that of a newborn child, and is considered to be the further development of his Ling Shen (Spirit Mind).
5. Another question concerns the archetypal merging/fusion of Yin & Yang in Taoist (and other forms) of alchemy. What exactly (theoretically & experientially) does it mean to merge or fuse the 2? Is it like connecting a full electrical circuit like with + & - terminals? Or letting north and south magnetic poles meet? Or if they're already "fused" like electromagnetism...then how more would you "fuse" them?
6. I'd be curious to know about his personal practice. He is an expert in many disciplines, how does he schedule practicing them to remain proficient in each? Are there some pieces that he does every day? Any general guidelines for learning new skills?
Next I perform Old Man and Tide Pool X5 -
Then I perform the Daoist Yang Organ Exercise and the Daoist Five Yin Organ healing exercise.
From there I move into Standing Meditation for about 20 minutes
And end with Sitting Meditation for about 35 minutes
In the evening time, I practice Yang Family Taiji a few nights a week, and also teach Baguazhang classes (the students are currently learning the Bagua staff-fighting)
I also teach 2 Daoist Magic classes each week – one class is for senior priests of Tian Yun Gong (the Daoist temple in Monterey) and includes special healing talismans, hand seals, star stepping, and incantations; the other class is to the Daoist Abbots of Tian Yun Gong– they are learning Daoist Exorcisms..
When I am not counseling students and disciples,
I am either writing books or spending time with my wife...
7. Not long ago, I heard you tell a story in another interview about a martial arts instructor you encountered who wore rubber-soled shoes. You, at the time, felt that it was important to wear cotton-bottom shoes to increase your connection with the yin energy of the earth. In that story, you conceded to the instructor that there are far more impediments to perfect chi flow than just rubber-soled shoes (indoor plumbing and electricity and the like).
We've had several debates on the forum about topics similar to the cotton-bottom shoe issue. One poinient example being a member who vehemently asserted that, unless the hui yin was physically touching the ground or some grounded conducting wire, no yin chi could be cultivated in one's meditation practice.
My question is: Do you think that our modern western lifestyle prevents us from levels of attainment that the ancient Chinese may have reached? Is our lifestyle/environment making it harder for us to become Daoist immortals, or do you think it is a relatively minor issue?
For example, throughout the years, many Western Doctors were truly perplexed by my students, because they were dissolving tumors. When they privately inquired as to how this was possible, I simply stated that it was because they don’t know any better...Once you assign a name, power, and history to a diseased state, you create a belief system that supports and maintains the energetic matrix of the disease pattern. I simply tell my students that the tumor is composed of stagnant energy, and that their job is to dissolve and disperse the Stagnant Qi. They do, and the tumor dissolves. It works, because a person's belief system supports and maintains his internal energetic patterns..
My teacher once explained that an individual’s actions are based on their internal “Code of Conduct,” created from the initial programming of their personal “Belief System” or “Internal Truth.” This “Internal Truth” is subconsciously constructed from the initial imprinting and programming of:
• Inputted Stories of the Cultural Trance
• Beliefs based on projected hopes and fears
• Accepted statements based on religious beliefs
• Facts based on sensory perceptions
• Consistent accurate information.
Therefore, an individual’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual attachments to their Internal Truth create and maintain their internal beliefs. These internal beliefs activate, support, and feed the “stories” that maintain the physical body, energy body, and spirit body’s’ energetic functions.
In an Energetically Induced Psychosis (i.e., based on fundamental thinking), the individuals Belief System is being “Overshadowed” by the constant energetic bombardment of another individuals projected thoughts, intentions, and emotions (usually originating from a person of authority).
In this self induced state of Trance Induction, when an individual believes that something is actually there, then to them, it is. Their body’s physical, mental, and emotional states all respond to these obsessed thoughts and feelings, which have a powerful influence over their Heart/Mind, and affect the way that they perceive the world, and respond to others.
If the individual is unclear of their Code of Conduct (De) and Vision in life (Ming), they tend to experience any type of discrepancy or criticism as an invalidation of who they are, and become unclear of their current reality. This internal state becomes a source of doubt, lack, worry, fear, and obsession. The internal stories that they keep inside their mind, corrupt their personal values, in both vision and present condition. Their Survival Instinct is then taken over by the internal story and overshadowed sensory input. This disruptive internal state can lead to such Shen (Heart/Mind) Disorders as Psychosis or Neurosis.
I believe that we currently are in a “spiritual crisis,” and that our modern Western lifestyle can easily be used in order to prevent us from reaching the higher levels of spiritual attainment. This is because in true alchemical training, it requires much work, discipline, and consistent practice. Without a “support group” needed to encourage your training, it becomes extremely easy to energetically “fall-asleep” and get lax when practicing Daoist Alchemical Cultivation. At this time in our history, it becomes even more difficult, because we now have greater access to things that can distract and inhibit quiescent cultivation practice. I believe this is why so many people are internally “hungry” for spiritual enlightenment, and thirst for a true relationship with the Divine.
8. Many folks do practice more than one system of qigong and/or neigong, and may wish to incorporate (though during a separate practice time), some of your exercises or practices. Is this possible? What are the risks?
Many years ago, when I first was introduced to Chinese Energetic Medicine, I believed that “truth – was truth,” and therefore each energetic system should say the exact the same things, have the same colors, same sounds, same energetic patterns, same channel locations, etc. What I failed to take into consideration, was the various cultural influences that each energetic system carried.
It was because of each system's cultural evolution, that the associated sounds, colors, patterns, etc. all varied. This did not make them “wrong” only different. Once you can understand the original function and design of the teaching’s application, then an energetic foundation is created. You then become free to observe and appreciate the various correspondences each system carries, and may use its energetic approach in cultivating and working with the most subtle energetic fields of the body, mind, and spirit.
9. How do you feel is best way to stop rebirth?
Additionally, if the disciple was able to obtain the status of a “Spirit Immortal” (or “Heaven Immortal”), he would also be able to evade the stern judgments of the Three Officials of the Underworld, having already transformed his previous Karma into radiant Divine Light on Earth.
As a Heavenly Immortal, the disciple now qualified to ascend into paradise and take up a special Celestial Post in one of the Heavenly Administrations, and continue his service from the celestial realm.
10. What is the final goal (if there is one) of your system/lineage?
11. How important is an understanding of the YiJing (I Ching) to Taoist cultivation practices? How can this be used to enhance ones practice?
- The study of Heaven is associated with the study of Astrology
- The study of Earth is associated with the study of Feng Shui
- The study of Man is associated with the study of the Yijing
12. As a modern materialist Westerner, the concept of ghosts and spirits is outside my conditioned framework. Is there a simple way of getting a glimpse into their reality or does it take years of study? How would such a belief help a person spiritually and in life?
I wrote extensively about my interactions with the Spirit World in my Daoist Exorcism book (see - http://www.qigongmed...m/daoist-books/
When overseeing a Medical Qigong Clinic, a doctor will usually encounter various types of patients with a multitude of diseased conditions, ranging from physical, mental, emotional, to spiritual energetic dysfunctions. This is because each human body has a continual relationship with the multidimensional energies active within the Physical, Energetic, and Spirit Worlds. The various interactions can be infinitely complex and sometimes frightening, especially if the doctor has not prepared for such encounters. For example, one supernatural manifestation of the Spirit World can include the ghostly apparitions of various spirits, people, animals, and/or objects. In the clinic, the presence of these subtle energetic forms can sometimes be seen or felt for either brief moments in time (i.e., usually seen as hovering images of light or dark shadows) or for extended periods of time (usually considered to be an encounter).
In the early 1970s, when I first began to see spirits, I had just finished meditating with my teacher. Suddenly, I saw a bright radiant flash of light. It hovered for a few seconds to the left of the room, then immediately disappear. Startled by what I had just observed, I asked my teacher what that was. When he answered, “oh, I don’t know,” his carefree response upset me. Realizing that I would not be content within this answer, he continued:
“Johnson, some of these things are people from the past projecting into the future; others are people in the future projecting into the past; some are people in the present Spirit Traveling; others are Immortals and Spirit Guides traveling within the various realms; and some can be Nature Spirits, Elementals, or Ghosts. Unless we “Freeze” the spirit and then interrogate it, we cannot truly say what it is.”
Eventually, I became use to seeing such energetic phenomenon, and learned to relax and accept the clairvoyant skills I had begun to develop. This important acceptance opened the doors to learning the additional skills and abilities that were needed to interact with the Spirit Realm.
This was known in ancient China as having developed “Yin Eyes.” The term “Yin Eyes” originated from the ancient belief that the Physical World existed in a Yang energetic state, where people were subject to the warmth and light of the day, when the Yang energy was at its strongest. In contrast, the Spirit World and ghosts were considered to exist in a Yin energetic state, where spirits of the dead are subject to the cold and darkness of night, when the powers of Yin were at its strongest.
Because you are composed of a Physical Body, Energetic Body, and Spirit Body – by understanding the Yin and Yang properties of each of these three energetic states, you will be able to more effectively interact with yourself and others, in a deeper and more profound way.
Many of the Daoist and Buddhist teachings are extremely compatible. Throughout ancient China, both the Daoist and Buddhist continually “borrowed” various magic talismans, incantations, and hand seals, from each other. In fact, many of the Daoist and Buddhist teachings were originally combined in order to form the “Quanzhen” (“Complete Reality”) Daoist School.Please see Dr. Diego San Miquel or Dr. John De Anzo for Skype lessons in Daoist Exorcism
<this might be covered in a book> If a person couldn't study with you, are there other teachers or organizations you'd recommend?
13. How does he see the relationship/compatibility of Buddhist and Taoist practices? Is it ok to practice both concurrently or is there need to keep them distinct?
However, because certain meditations require mantras that are specifically directed to certain deities, I would encourage you to keep their meditation practices separate..
14. Do you think chi kung healing is becoming more accepted by the western medical community? How would you like to see chi kung therapy evolve over the next ten years?
15. What is the most remarkable recovery you have seen in a chi kung clinic?
The next day, when she and her mother arrived at the clinic, they asked if they could stay and watch me treat her father. My immediate response was, “no, this is not a spectator sport. If you wish to stay, you both must sit on the side and remain in prayer, and ask God to intercede. We have a saying in the clinic – Doctor’s Treat- God Heals.” They both agreed, and I placed the patient on the table and began to perform my “Hook-up” before treatment. Immediately the light in the treatment room (which usually turns into a natural golden radiance), transformed into a type of “rainbow” luminescence, and you could actually feel the prayers of the mother and her daughter interceding for the father. I thought, “this is wonderful, God is healing her father.”
After the healing session, they thanked me and left. About a week later, the father returned back to the hospital and clinical exams confirmed that all of the cancer way completely removed. It had not gone into remission – but was instead completely removed from his body.
16. Which side of the human body is Yin & which is Yang? What I would like to know is whether yin and yang aspects of right and left are inherent, absolute qualities or whether this may be considered more of a sort of suggestion, a paradigm, one potential school of how to channel these opposing (e.g. radiant vs. receiving) energies, which then may naturally be different in different schools.
I know in your books you insist that the left side is yang, the right yin. What we would like to know is why the understanding of this differentiation is relevant, e.g. in specific healing or medical applications.
17. It has been suggested by one member here (yours truly) that one could explain De as akin to the virtuous creative force which other religions worship as God.
Does this make sense in your understandings of Daoism and Christianity?
Also: How would you explain the relationship between De and Dao in the Universe, creation, and in Neidan/Neigong. Thank you so much for your consideration and time.
It is important to note that the Five Virtues are the original energetic and spiritual manifestations of the Five Pure Lights. This is why, according to ancient Daoist teaching, the “Virtues” are composed of subtle energetic and spiritual substances, known as “Ling Qi” (“Spiritual Energy”) and “Ling Shen” (“Spiritual Mind”). The Energy Body and Spirit Body are both composed from this subtle energetic and spiritual substance.
Whenever an individual becomes extremely emotional (i.e., enraged, fearful, obsessive, depressed, etc.), he or she will naturally drain, burn up, and energetically waste this precious spiritual substance. Therefore, the foundation for all Daoist magic and alchemical work is traditionally built upon the cultivation and replenishing of the subtle spiritual energies of the disciple’s innate Virtues.
In order to assist him in this important alchemical practice, both Daoist and Christian disciples were first traditionally taught how to uncover the hidden magical powers contained within the spoken word. For example, the sacred sounds of a spoken prayer or magical incantation are directly linked to the internal power of an individual’s Ling Qi (Spiritual Energy), and are therefore energetically rooted within the disciple’s Shen (Heart/Mind). This is why one of the first energetic exercises given to a disciple of Daoist Magic (aside from the Purification Meditations and Rituals), focuses specifically on training his internal “Observer” to overview all of his thoughts and actions. In this way, the disciple is able to intercept Karma, shut off his attachments to the outside world, and begin cultivating Divine Virtue, which will be required later when performing advanced alchemical teachings.
The ancient Daoists believed that the cultivation of Virtue has its reward, both within Heaven, and within the Dao. These energetic and spiritual rewards are without shape or form, and are the magical stepping stones used by most Daoist disciples to access the secret teachings hidden within the various Spirit Realms. In high levels of Daoist Magic, the acquired magical powers of a disciple are not totally dependent on his ability to practice powerful Qigong and Shengong exercises, but are also dependent on his ability to cultivate Genuine Virtue.
According to the Huimingjing, “If you do not have Virtuous Power (De), even if you encounter the Dao, Heaven will certainly not grant it to you. Why is this? Virtuous Power and the Dao are like a bird’s wings. If one is missing, the other is useless. You must have dedication, devotion, compassion, moral integrity, and obey the Five Precepts (no killing, stealing, adultery, lying, or intoxication). Only then do you have something to hope for.”
With each kind deed, the disciple’s Heart becomes purer and the subtle activities of his True Spirit increase. This allows the gap between the Qi of the disciple’s Yuan Shen (Original Spirit) and the radiant light of his Shen Xian (Eternal Soul) to be reduced.
18. Since you emphasize the importance of working through your stuff and clearing it out prior to, as well as during the neigong practice, what ends up being the result of someone practicing Neigong without doing this important aspect? What happens to them/their spirit/the fetus?
Additionally, if this internal power is allowed to develop and increase within a disciple who has a confused “Poisoned Mind” (defined as an individual who is obsessed with the continual need for ego-based control, approval, and security), and it energetically activates their Inner Fire, the transferred spiritual energy (Ling Qi) will internally burn through the disciple, and begin destroying all of his various acquired “ego personalities” and “false identities.” If the disciple has not been properly trained or prepared for these sudden spiritual changes, he can mistake these energetic shifts for being suddenly possessed or oppressed by harmful spirits.
As the newly awakened “creative energy” rushes through the disciple’s Three Bodies, it also naturally “feeds” whatever the disciple considers to be the “most important” internal priority. Therefore, this suddenly awakened “creative energy” can either seem like a blessing (especially if the internal priority is placed on Divine Transformation), or can manifest as a form of psychotic-delusion, especially if the internal priority is placed on empowering themselves.
When psychotic-delusions begin to manifest, the disciple suddenly considers himself “extra special,” and “God’s Gift to Mankind;” or he is suddenly convinced that he is a god himself. This is why it is important to find a qualified teacher whenever pursuing any form of Daoist Magic and Internal Alchemical teaching. It is also the reason why maintaining a humble and grateful heart rooted in divine service is essential for spiritual growth, especially when following any authentic spiritual path to Enlightenment and Immortality.
19.Is karma a legitimate Taoist concept? How does he see the relationship/compatibility of Buddhist and Taoist practices? Is it ok to practice both concurrently or is there need to keep them distinct?
20. Are there any key exercises for overall good health?
Sure...see Question #1
Posted by yulongbr on 11 July 2013 - 08:46 AM
I read this forum for many years, but this is the first time I write.
I’m doing it now because recently I have decided to participate in a workshop and the reviews I read here were fundamental to take that decision. So, it’s time to contribute.
My first contact with Michael Lomax’s teaching was when I bought his DVD, Gift of Tao I (GOT I) a couple of years ago. At that time I was looking for some standing moving qigong to complement my quiet sitting. The first time I watched the DVD, I did not like it. The form looked very loose to me and I put it aside. My mistake!
More than a year later, after I read the positive reviews on this forum, I gave it a shot and practiced it. The first time I practiced I felt a huge difference in the “air” around me. I was intrigued by the effects and I ordered his e-book from amazon. The first part of his book deals with his experience in shamanic practice and the second talks more about Daoist practice.
I felt connected with the main points about the Daoist practice and it was very close to what I’ve learned about the traditional method of cultivation in China.
1 – Stillness (exception for the spontaneous movement)
2 – Emptiness of the mind (letting go of the mind)
3 – Gentle gaze at the Dan Tian
4 – The opening of the channels should be a natural process.
5 – No real results will come without putting in much time & effort.
Even it is written in the book that this method requires an initial transmission, I started to feel very different while I was reading the book (a faraway metallic sound in my ears during the day, real focus on practice etc). Right away I started practice it, since it was not too different from my silent practice, the only exception was the hand position and no special breathing.
Making a long story short, I was looking forward for his next workshop, but I was unable to attend last year in Finland or the distance one early this year. I attended his last workshop in US, last June.
Here goes the Workshop Review:
The workshop was held in Springfield, Missouri, on June 22, 23 and 24 (Clinical day optional), at one of the Holiday Inn Hotel.
I arrived a couple of days earlier in the city and Michael was very thoughtful and sent me some indication for restaurants that I might like (I mentioned to him before that I like Asian-spice food) and requested his student to make contact with me. I had the opportunity to interact with 3 of them before the workshop, ask questions, hang out, dinner etc. They are very nice people, as all of the others students I interacted during the workshop.
Sometimes you go to a workshop and you see the students fighting between them, gossip about each other etc. I interacted with almost everyone and I felt like I was with family and friends. I mention it, because for me it says a lot about the teacher and also about the system.
The first day of the workshop started 9:00 am. I was the first one at the room and I can say the energy field inside it was very clear. It was very different from the rest of the hotel.
Michael and the rest of his students arrived and the workshop started in a very casual manner. He gave everyone a sandalwood soap, lectured a little about the effects of a few plants and how good they are to clean the energy. He made a lot of jokes and the vibe there was very good.
After that we started some warm-up with isometrics and a couple of the 8 pieces of brocade. One of his senior students was invited to demonstrate the GOT I, while all the others should follow.
Before the workshop I practiced GOT I from the DVD for about two months and it was great, but what I experienced there was fantastic. We were doing it much slower than the DVD, each movement was practiced for a long time while Michael and some of his senior student was correcting the rest. After a couple of movements you could feel the energy field changing even more, I was sweating a lot, all my pores seemed to be open.
After a little break to drink some water, we started to practice GOT II in the same manner. It is hard not to be amazed about those exercise. They are very simple, yet so powerful. The final sequence (Sequential Energy Center Activation, Balancing & Restoration) before the closing is the most powerful set that I’ve ever practiced. For me it is even better than GOT I and the rest of GOT II. Every time the energy descend, it gets stronger and stronger.
At the end of the morning session we did GOT III. I’ve never seen it before, so most of time I was trying to understand the movements, while Michael gave some hints about the energetic aspects. Even so, I felt the effects immediately.
Break time for lunch and then we did the stillness-movement practice for about one hour and forty minutes of sitting. Michael gave the group the transmission and this was the most intense part of the workshop for me. At the end I felt that was in some vast and soundless place. You see the hotel workshop room, but you do not feel you are there. Weird!
The first day was so intense to me that later that night during dinner, I had a hard time dealing with the energy inside of my body. After I eat, it started to calm down.
The next day before the workshop, I practiced the stillness-movement in my room. After a while my head naturally dropped a little and from nowhere the spontaneous movement started (I did not have any spontaneous movement during the transmission). I consciously stopped it, I was a little scared but it started again. Sometimes clockwise, sometimes counterclockwise, just right and left etc. I finished my practice thinking “WOW!!! What happened?”.
The second day we started with GOT I, II and III and it was also very energizer. Before we went outside to do practice with the tree, Michael requested their senior students to talk a little about their experience with the system and the healing aspects. Without any apparent reason, I felt a strong urge to cry like a baby. Their testimonies were beautiful, but the urge was not related with what they were talking, but with something that I do not know. I hold it until the class was dismissed and then I went to restroom to cry. Michael and one of his senior students were there and they approached me very gently. Michael put his hand on my chest, talked with me and I felt a great relieve after that.
After lunch we had more GOT III, demonstration about Daoist Medicine and one more sitting session with transmission. It was Rock n Roll all over again.
The third day we learned and practiced Medical Qigong on each other. I have a pain in one of my fingers from a stick fight, when I used to practice Kali-Silat. After the treatment it was much better, about 70%. One of the students felt a great relieve on hers hamstrings and you could see in her face how impressed she was. At the end we learned Daoist Medicine and was time to say goodbye. I’ve never thought about do healing, but the material was a great eye opener.
It was a terrific workshop and I look forward to join the next one. I have been in China a couple of times practicing sitting meditation and I’ve never been able to experience such high energy in only two days.
Michael is not only a powerful and accessible teacher, but a very cool guy.The energy he brings is really powerful. The feeling I have after practicing it, is quite different, is like being in a vast space, empty and soundless.
Posted by chenplayer on 04 May 2013 - 10:40 PM
Ok, here I go. This is a plea to all the brother and sisters of the tao bums, we need to tone down the internal bickering. I know this is a forum and bickering and the occasional troll will pop up, but we have lost so much because we let it spread like a California wild fire. We had teachers like micheal lomax chime in with valuable information, or even some old members chiming in here it there. But, like in mister lomax's case, people complain that he charges for his teachings, or he dosen't look like a nei gong teacher and being called a fraud. People get banned, feelings get hurt, and we lose a valuable resource and poster.
More recently like the mo pai threads. We have people from the school chime in and give some clarification which turns into "is this story true about so and so?" Or "can you please tell us why westerners are no longer accepted?" Then bickering sets in, name calling and mud slinging and off goes more valuable information. Then we all complain why frauds or people with no experience come here and post. We invite them. We push all valuable persons away, because even if they do answer some one will log in say well that not what I heard and I was there for that and that did not happen. Then it turns out the person being asked questions is now defending himself. I mean why bother. They owe us nothing. We are seeking and when we are given something we either ask for more or just crap on the person who gave it to us.
Even potential teachers or people of knowledge who want to contribute can click on one link see WW3 happening and quickly change his mind. We need to work together to find the answers and if people are wrong correct them in a positive way. If they don't want correction ignore. We are shooting ourselves in the foot and slowly this place will turn into a troll heaven with little or no knowledge ever being shared. .
I love this place and I love you guys and girls, that why I want us just to help each other along cause we are all looking for the same thing.
Don't know if this will help or just create another troll thread. Hopefully it helps a little and we start treating each other like the practices we all love tell us to treat each other. With love and respect.
Peace and blessings.
Posted by soaring crane on 21 February 2015 - 04:44 AM
Say hello to my newest best friend, I call him "Shui", to go with his Partner, "Feng":
Shui (and the Harmonie gong stand, plus a collection of gorgeus hammers) got delivered the day before yesterday. I bought the whole set through Ebay from a very sweet person. The 95cm gong is from a special smithy in Wuhan, commissioned by Peter Hess. It's thicker-walled and more resonant than the more mass-produced gongs (at least the ones I've had and played in the past). Shui is the perfect name for this one because the tone is so deep and thick, like falling asleep on the seafloor. But he moves a lot of air, and rings for a long, long time and has overtones that fly straight to heaven.
Did I mention that I really love this gong? Need I say it?
Posted by BaguaKicksAss on 31 March 2014 - 11:44 PM
We are changing a few things around on TTBs, so that conversations will run more smoothly.
1. We are bringing the edit timer back. You will not be able to edit your post after you post it. Just like in real life in person conversation.
2. From now on all threads must stay on topic; no wavering off topic at all whatsoever, or the thread will be split accordingly. 5 times of doing this by the same person, and you will be suspended.
3. All previously banned members will be allowed back for balance, in accordance with the Dao, since these new more strict rules are being brought about.
4. All members from Brisbane, Australia will need to submit photo ID to post about Mo Pai on the forums.
5. We will be deleting the Buddhist sections, as they are not explicitly Taoist.
6. We will be partnering up with Taouncut and Mopai debate forums for our new advertising campaign.
7. Happy April Fools day from Tech .