August 7, 2014 at 12:05 am #42695
What advice would you give to a beginner?
From the web, maybe of interest:
The old man looked round him at the evening scene, and smiled gently.
“What is love?” he asked calmly. “Are you sure about that, I wonder?”
I will tell it you. Love is…August 7, 2014 at 12:18 am #42696
be the mystery
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
from Sonnets of Orpheus II, 29
translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows
with thanks to joanna macy and her work
Dean Keller at 6:44 AM
– Something about this poem that I felt worth sharing. After joining this forum I took a nap and dreamed that I heard a voicelike my own thoughtssay, “Just be.” And then, something like, “What else do you hope to attain?”
What would you say to one, such as myself, who is attracted to living with an inner smile?August 7, 2014 at 8:38 am #42698
I’m not very poetic, but I would say “live with an inner smile always.”
My advice would be to read Michael Winn’s “Way of the Inner Smile” free ebook if you have not already. I started out with Mantak Chia’s “Taoist Ways of Transforming Stress into Vitality” (see link below) but Michael’s book took my inner smile much deeper. If you’re interested in learning the Microcosmic Orbit, Chia’s “Awaken Healing Energy of the Tao” is a good place to start. If you’re really serious, I would go ahead and get the Qigong Fundamentals packages, either start out with #1, or get the #1 and #2 package deal. Michael has figured out how to teach to the western audience, and also teaches qigong forms that pair well with the meditations.
Good luck and best of chi!August 8, 2014 at 2:46 am #42700
Thanks, frechtling. I’m beginning to practice the inner smile and microcosmic orbit meditations. I don’t know what would be a good question to ask, but your answer is helpful.
“The Chinese character for Tao is difficult to translate. It is made up of two characters: shau, meaning to lead, or the head; and hsing, meaning to walk, or a trail. Tao, therefore, would carry the meaning of ‘that which leads us to walk on trails.’ From this comes the meaning, The Way, or The Path, and a second meaning, Law or Method. There is a third meaning, also, the Word, or to talk.”
– Dr. Kiang Kang-Hu
That which leads us on the pathto talk…
Tao, Love, Poetrybest to you, too
Han Shan and Shi De
(Probably by Luo Ping, who also did the painting. Translated by Mary Jacob. Exclamation marks after “ha ha ha” by me.)
Ha ha ha!
If I show joy and ease my troubled mind,
Worldly troubles into joy transform.
Worry for others–it does no good in the end.
The great Dao, all amid joy, is reborn.
In a joyous state, ruler and subject accord,
In a joyous home, father and son get along.
If brothers increase their joy, the world will flourish.
If husband and wife have joy, it’s worthy of song.
What guest and host can bear a lack of joy?
Both high and low, in joy, lose their woe before long.
Ha ha ha!August 8, 2014 at 2:17 pm #42702
As Chia says, “you do it, you get it.” Do whatever works for you, and ask questions as they arise. There are some pretty knowledgeable folks on this forum.August 9, 2014 at 2:12 am #42704
There are many questions in these bits of text, maybe too many for now. The question that presses is, for me, wrapped in another poem. These words have found me several times, and I’ve hesitated to respond. So, your answer is excellent.
My question, full of fear and hope:
If I practice for 100 days, will what is frozen begin to flow?
Maybe this answer you give is best.
I don’t begin to understand this poem, or want to. It just calls.
Do it, then get it:
Sitting silently, practice meditation.
Continuously and gently regulate your breathing;
One yin and one yang brewing in the internal cauldron.
Nature must be enlightened, life be preserved.
Don’t rush, let the fire burn slowly.
Close your eyes and look at your heart of life.
Let tranquility and spontaneity be the source.
In a hundred days you will see a result.
The beauty is boundless and inexplicable,
All over the body vital energy arises.
Who can know such a marvelous experience?
Let the mind be still, and life be strong.
The spirit radiates throughout 3,000 worlds.
Golden cockerel crows beneath the shadowless tree,
The red lotus blossoms in the middle of night.
Winter comes the sun shines again,
A thunderous roar shatters heaven and earth.
Dragons call, tigers play,
Heavenly music fills the sky with harmony.
In nebulous mixture everything is empty,
The infinite phenomena are all here.
Marvelous in its mystery, mysterious in its marvel.
The circulation of the stream breaks through the three obstacles;
All phenomena are born in the union of heaven and earth.
Drink the dew of nature, sweet like honey,
Saints are buddhas, buddhas are saints.
When the ultimate reality reveals dualism disappears,
Now I realize all religions are the same!
Eat when hungry, sleep when tired,
Offer a joss stick and practice meditation.
The great Tao is just before your eyes,
If you are deluded, you’ll miss the chance.
Once you’ve lost your human form you may have to wait a million eons.
The uninformed dream of going to heaven,
The blind go into a deep forest to practice.
The four true principles you have to cultivate,
Breaking the gate of mystery to reach the marvelous.
Cultivate day and nigh without break,
Get a master early to develop your elixir.
There are people who know that real mercury
Is the elixir of longevity and immortality.
Cultivate each day, be more determined each day.
– Taoist Master Zhang San-Feng, circa 1300 CE
Song of Silent Sitting
Translated by Wong Kiew Kit, The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan, 1996
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