October 23, 2007 at 1:26 pm #25260
Most esoteric traditions advocate a device for anchoring the mind during one’s daily activities outside of formal meditation practice. Tools for present moment awareness are numerous and some of the most famous ones are: mantras, invocation of divine names, awareness of the in-out breath, awareness between the eyebrows, awareness above the head, awareness of the rising and falling of the abdomen, and so on. What is the device for present moment awareness in the Universal Tao/Healing Tao system? Does it change as one progresses through the seven alchemical formulas? Is there a reference to this in any of the books of Mantak Chia or Michael Winn, and if so where?
Thank you for any clues and guidance you may offer.
—SkyOctober 23, 2007 at 8:21 pm #25261
Do you practice any of the Healing Tao Qi Gong?October 24, 2007 at 2:58 pm #25263
My practice of the Healing Tao is recent and very green. Right now I am working with a few of Mantak Chia’s initial books (Awakening Healing Light, Secrets of Love, Iron Shirt, etc) and corresponding DVD’s. My practice over the past few years has been one of inner alchemy from the Western tradition primarily based in the works of Rudolph Steiner and Western Hermeticism. The regimen of body-based alchemy in Healing Tao is very appealing and accessible. Does this kind of information help you, Bagua, in answering my initial questions?
The ongoing dialectic in this forum between “emptiness” meditation and alchemical subtle body building is a theme I have explored for several years primarily in Theravada Buddhist, Hindu, and Western esoteric contexts, and now here it is again in Taoism. It does seem however that both orientations (“just sitting” vs “energy transformation”) typically have a device for anchoring the mind while outside of the meditation hut and washing dishes. Certain systems of energy practice will have such a device that anchors the mind, yet continues the process of alchemy as in awareness of the pineal gland (while washing the dishes.) My question still is, is there such a device in the Healing Tao, and what is it, and does it change over time while moving through the exercises?
I find the posts in this forum stimulating and am happy to observe discussions on the nature of the self in view of dissolution vs absorption, immortality vs enlightenment, reincarnation vs shattering of the astral body at death–in my experience such discussions are rare outside of Asia.
By the way as someone new to HT (and to posting in forums) and trying to navigate through the various books, audio/visual media, and course offerings, I am open to recommendations for where to place foundational focus, or links to postings or pages where such information is listed. For example, is it worthwhile to study Mantak Chia’s and Michael Winn’s programs simultaneously?
Any response to the above is welcomed and appreciated.
SOctober 24, 2007 at 3:26 pm #25265
… I’m afraid I can’t answer the question but I can certainly welcome you to the forum! 🙂 I can also say that when you have a moment to tell us some perspectives from the other systems you mention, which bear on any of the discussions we’re having, I for one would love to hear them. best wishes jason/nnonnthOctober 24, 2007 at 3:27 pm #25267
From my view it is not empty sitting vs alchemy, this is just the way some want to frame the dialogue, no matter how much some of us state different it keeps comming back that way. In a way the Inner Smile is alchemy and one who is sensitive enough will realize it in a profound way, as M. Chia and people like Ron Diana would present, eventually “Just Smile”.
From the first practice it is about “anchoring” the mind, or rooting the Yi/intellect; from the sounds, smile, orbit and Iron Shirt, a large part is rooting, turning inward, sinking, quieting, the mind and allowing the opportunity for your Yi to experience something that is always there, in this process, which can take time and refinement due to so many habits and conditioning, one feels their true nature. And we begin to Synch to this aspect of ourself, not synch to the desires and pulls of society or other things, this synching over time becomes your daily, ordinary, natural way of life, this is alchemy too. So all the practices are in a way are doing this, and working on Qi in varying degrees.
Being aware is more important than intellectual understanding, let this awareness guide your understanding, not so much intellectual models and theories drive your awareness, even if they are Tao Models.
I think its good to get numerous veiw points, but dont rush your practices, there is no hurry and one will end up going back to learn the basics anyway.
baguaOctober 24, 2007 at 3:45 pm #25269
… I think Sky’s question concerned what to do when not practice, not how to practice!
I don’t know what the HT system says about this. In my own practice I certainly do what I call simply ‘paying attention’! That is all the time not having things in my mind except what is happening at the moment, and as little of that as I can manage.
But perhaps you mean something more technical – I can point to the fact that Singing Ocean talks about alchemy continuing in his experience well past the moment of actually practicing. In my own practice this also occurs, suddenly feeling something wonderful readjusting even though I have done nothing. This though is not the same as my ‘paying attention’…
I recall many differences instances that have been mentioned in the past, for example Michael (Winn, who is usually here to welcome people BTW but seems to be busy just now) I recollect once said that he had never been bothered by cigarette smoke since he realized that he could draw in his belt channel when people were smoking.
I guess what I’m saying is that, although there may not be any *one specific* technique for ‘practicing when not practicing’ taught here, there are are alot of ways in which people find this occurring, whether it is alchemy continuing, some fringe benefit like the smoking thing, or something else again. The practice given here seems to repay investigation with personal wrinkles and ideas for things like that, and it also seems in the higher levels to produce alchemy that occurs continuously rather than only when ‘actually doing it’.
I hope someone else will chime in here but that’s all that I myself can think of. jOctober 24, 2007 at 4:01 pm #25271
By practing you will naturally be natural, nothing special to do. HT people on this site want to being doing something all the time.
Find time to practice, the yang aspect, then allow it to unfild, the yin part. If you drift in daily life just do the smile, do sounds, do ocean breathing with no hand movements, stand and do some tan tien rooting, just take what you learn into your life.
baguaOctober 24, 2007 at 4:32 pm #25273
Hello Sky and others.
I do a practise focusing on the original cavity=ansestors hall in the midle behind the eyes. I don’t know if this practise is part of the universal tao beacase I have never seen it mentioned here. This practise I belive can be done in your daily life also just to focus on the original cavity all the time.
It is as I have noticed and read (even though just read a litle about it) a wery ancoring practise for the mind and spirit.
I have seen the practise mentioned in “the sexual teaching of the jade dragon” by Hsi Lay and in “Taoist yoga alchemy and immortality” by Lu K’uan Yü (Charles Luk)
The question I have is if someone at the forum knows more about this practise, why practising it and wats its efect? And if it is in the universal tao system?
With regards S DragonOctober 25, 2007 at 4:55 am #25275
Welcome to our Cyber Earth.
Nice question. I like ‘Bagua’s answer. The Taoists do have so many methods that it is possible to over effort. So you could almost pick any foundational practice and continue awareness of it throughout the day.
But the Inner Smile is the really the first practice taught, and remains the foundational practice for me that links all the higher practices AND can be effortlessly incorporated into daily life. Once you get the smile radiating from your soul, it doesn’t interfere with the operation of the ordinary sensory mind. And the inner smile keeps you heart centered. so the qigong practices get you body centered in your center of gravity,navel, and inner smile embraces and radiates that centeredness from the heart.
The alchemical process begins in the navel, at the center of birthing/pre-natal breathing. Once you get that awareness going of a kind of “spontaneous combusion” in the lower dantian, it continues to unfold itself spontaneously. Eventually it activates all three dantian until they function as one.
This is alchemically described as the spontaenous transmutation of jing into chi into shen into wuji and back again.
You don’t have to focus on anything for this transformation to happen – everyone is doing it. alchemists simply accelerate this natural unfolding, and learn to shape it, to balance and harmonize it.
Smiling to you in all dimensions of NOW,
MichaelOctober 27, 2007 at 3:03 am #25277
to my basic question. I think what I have come away with most from your generous responses is that the inner smile roots awareness not so much in a word (mantra) or body part or respiratory process, but in a quality of consciousness. The fact that the quality of consciousness is called ‘smile’ evokes both a kind of playfulness and unlimited breatdh of possible inner experience. If the ‘just smile’ were instead named ‘just loving-kindness’, or ‘just openess’, or ‘just surrender’, or ‘just joy’ it would seem limited by these names. But the simplicity of the universal human smile allows all the above mentioned qualities of heart to be included and more. In the smile you have the coy, subtle, and slightly ambiguous beckoning to dive deeper into greater mystery. I think it is a common temptation to make ones meditation object somewhat computationalif I press these buttons I get these results. Whereas the musicality of just smiling makes a nice cocktail of attention with heart, once again bringing the often heady act of concentration into the more visceral art of inward embracing. It also seems like the fluidity of Taosit practice draws upon its vast arsenal of techniques for what is most fitting in the moment rather than a one-size-fits-all rubber-stamping of the moment. Is this what is meant by the natural way? Again I thank you all and look forward to continuing the larger conversations. And thanks, Michael, that great smile “in all dimensions of NOW sent a gentle wave of joy and lightness right into my solar plexus. Smile deeply received. And now joining the smiling of all smilers in this moment back to you—-
SkyNovember 9, 2007 at 2:46 am #25279
thanks for sharing your very perceptive comments about the quality of openness implied in the Inner Smile.
I encourage you to pursue teaching Tao.
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