February 28, 2005 at 11:48 am #2984
The ideas being bantered around regarding this versus that have been interesting. Here is my take on some of the issues, and some of this reiterates posts made by others.
1. Alchemy of formless meditation.
For some years I practiced a form of vipassana (insight) meditation in which what I was conscious of was noted. I also practiced some empty mind meditation. It was all rather dreary and motivated by the Buddhist intent (as I was taught it) to escape from mundane existence.
Learning Taoist meditation/alchemy techniques has radically changed my meditation. By inviting/finding all five phases of energy into my practice, I have become much more balanced. In retrospect, my version of formless meditation was done with a very cutting metal energy.
I feel that the Taoist methods, in the simplest way of just adjusting consciousness to include all five phases, can make formless meditation much more fulfilling.
2. But, doesn’t this just become bodily attachment?
Well, it has made having an incarnate existence more enjoyable! But, no, it has not increased my attachment to my body. I don’t do the formula, but I discover them ongoing in the neglected spaces of my being. I found that “doing” them through visualization etc. became a force of will. My sense now is that these interactions are occurring on their own, and that it is only the “human distortion” that makes it seem like they aren’t occurring.
This is thus a practice of discovery and remembering: discovery of the universal energies (not my energies) and putting them together (that is, remembering). This remembering is facilitated by older bodies than mine: trees, rocks, water, sun, moon, earth.
3. How about self versus non-self?
As my internal alchemy is facilitated by those other bodies of trees, sun and stars, I become more aware of larger perspectives. My sense of self can shift from the small me to the large universe. That helps both me and the universe. As my consciousness shifts to the large universe, my sense of self doesn’t just get larger, it gets more open and pervious and inclusive.
4. Where is the merit in this?
The merit is that I have become a nicer more loving and helpful person. When I was the cutting-metal energied meditator, I was kind of mean. Sure, back then I would help people, but I think there was a meanness and neediness about it. From my present perspective, I much more enjoy it when I am helped by nice people, and not “icked” by some do-gooder helping me not because they like me, but because they have to do get to heaven.
5. What is your goal?
I want to keep on becoming more balanced – healing the scars of my childhood, learning to be happy in any physical or work environment, help my son navigate his growing up, keep renewing my love with my wife, become more in tune with the cosmos, keep building a community with all of you.
ChrisFebruary 28, 2005 at 5:18 pm #2985
It pretty much sums up my thinking too. This ‘stuff’ is a language. Its a way of seeing and relating to the inner and outer world.
As you internalize it you can move in whatever direction you want. I’ve always considered Taoism to be the epitamy of toleration.
MichaelFebruary 28, 2005 at 6:46 pm #2987
Very similar to what I have found and experience. My hopes too. And I do so agree with everything being there already, – we just don’t see it, or feel it.
My ambitions too are also to balance, to help my children and mother, to share and bond more deeply with my partner and to share in the community.
RainbowbearMarch 1, 2005 at 3:55 am #2989
I find this to be a great post too.
I would add that tantrik buddhism can be similar to this kind of taoist view-practice, and in agreement with Michael, especially the dzogchen/nyingma variety.
Although the relationship to nature is not as obvious and emphasized, come to think of it.
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