May 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm #39305
I am a 19 year old male who has been struggling with some social anxiety problems for about six years. I was wondering if any of you on here would have a rough idea of what a taoist diagnosis of social anxiety would be, ie is it caused by problems in a certain organ etc. And if so, what taoist practices do you think would be especially helpful in addressing those problems?
Thanks.May 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm #39306
Even though I am a taoist I dont have a taoist diagnosis for you. Social anxiety is likely caused by hormonal imbalance. Its the endocrince system.
Get bloodwork done and see if theres an imbalance.
Pranayama and an optimal diet will go along way,they can correct the imbalance.
breathwork is the master key to good health.May 12, 2012 at 12:03 am #39308
Before I address your “actual question”, I want to mention
some other things first . . . which you can feel free
to use/abuse/ignore. Reason: In my experience, sometimes
what people want to hear–is not always in resonance with
what they *need* to hear . . .
I just want to first say that I’m sorry to hear about
your social anxiety. I understand how tough that can be.
If you’ve been suffering with it for awhile, you might want
to consider going to both a doctor and a counselor to help with it.
It might help you to talk to somebody about it, to help you
work through any issues, as well as maybe getting some medications
to help with this issue–even if such things need only be
temporary to snap the problem. I mean, six years is a long time.
So outside of any other discussion, I’d make that my
number one priority, if I were you.
Outside of that, you might want to ask some reflective questions:
Six years earlier, was there some kind of trauma that happened?
Did you suffer the loss of a loved one, a parent, a friend?
Did you feel some kind of rejection from peers or a love interest?
Did you face some kind of ridicule?
As far as currently/persisting to the present:
Do you feel you have to hide who you are (examples:
LGBT issues, over-critical parents, body image issues,
“who you are on the inside is not who you present to others”,
other possibilities, etc.)?
Do you feel that others might not accept you for who you are?
What is your biggest fear?
Obviously, since a lot of these are of a very sensitive nature,
no one would expect you to share any of this on the
forum (unless you wanted to). But this is exactly where a counselor could
come in handy. It could provide an opportunity for you to share
and discuss these things in an environment where you feel safe
Outside of any Daoist activities, this is
what I recommend you start with FIRST.
Now on to your specific question:
At its baseline, social anxiety is rooted in fear.
Specifically, fear of judgement and fear of heart-related issues.
Ultimately, this triggers an imbalance in all 5 of the 5 elements.
It causes depression/lack of courage (metal), it causes
frustration/anger (wood), it causes worry/anxiety (earth),
it causes loneliness/heart pain (fire), and of course the
underlying fear itself (water).
When you have a situation when all 5 elements are out of whack,
the best plan of attack (in my view) is to work on the
earth element. Earth is the unifier of all 5 elements;
it stabilizes them all. The way to do this is to surrender
to the larger Earth, namely the planet Earth. This means
doing a lot of grounding practices. By grounding practices,
this means doing a lot of standing practices as well as
any of the grounding qigong such as what is covered in Qigong
Fundamentals 3&4 (e.g. Deep Earth Pulsing, also on Sexual
Vitality Qigong video). By standing practice, this
means either doing a standing posture, or simply standing
and feeling your weight against the earth, letting your
attention and energy drop out of your head and downward
to your feet, while maintaining relaxed awareness of
When you do a lot of standing practice, you get more deeply
connected to the larger body of the Earth, and it allows
you to feel more centered in your being. You will feel
more empowered to “take a stand” in your everyday life,
and you won’t feel so disabled by emotions that arise.
When you become more centered with who you are, you feel
less affected by “what others think”.
On a meditation level, I would strongly suggest you practice
the Inner Smile meditation a lot (Qigong Fundamentals 1).
The Inner Smile helps to cultivate a feeling of self-acceptance,
a feeling that you are already exactly as you need to be,
and are lacking nothing.
Lastly, for the in-the-moment symptom control, I would
recommend practicing deep, slow abdominal breathing. Actually,
this is something that any counselor would recommend as it
shuts off the sympathetic nervous system (the “fight-or-flight”
response) and triggers the parasympathetic nervous system
(the calm relaxed state). From a Daoist perspective,
this brings qi to your lower dantian, which is your center
of gravity. This helps you to feel more centered, and
ultimately strengthens your earth. As a bonus,
any of the Six Healing Sounds can help diffuse tension
(See Qigong Fundamentals 1)
So to sum-up, recommended practices:
1. Standing practice
2. Inner Smile meditation
3. Deep, slow, abdominal breathing
And finally, one last tip (not so much a Daoist practice,
as is just my personal suggestion):
Think of people in a social group that you’d feel
social anxiety toward, and then say to yourself
as a mantra (repeat this often):
“Your opinion of me is none of my business.” 🙂
Repeat this over and over again until you feel its
underlying truth. Often opinions/reactions that others
have . . . ultimately lies in issues that *they have*
. . . that really have nothing to do with you.
My best to you,
StevenMay 12, 2012 at 9:46 am #39310
depends on what you are really experiencing…
1) some empathic psychics do not realize they are experiencing the stress of people around them, the group as a whole, or someone they have a connection with in another space who they need to network with…
2) a lot of real problems are things people are too lazy to deal with, normally everything you think people are criticizing is in fact real and they are, this is the nature of people.. such as obesity, bad hair, poor hygiene etc.. if this is the case address the issue, 99% of issues are addressable through a makeover or exercise
3) sexual frustration and violence are right at the root.. fight flight f***, got to let it out at some point, anxiety = power, maybe a girl to do s & m with ; )
4) if you do have personal anxiety, it’s perfectly natural due to how horrible the industrial social system is… if possible get out of it… coffee has deep soothing earth chi, ki kung is amazingly effective and quick.. I unexpectedly quit smoking years ago and never went back with zero effort from lung qi effectMay 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm #39312
Great responses, especially from Steven. Im trying to do just those very things in my own life, after suffering with acute anxiety and depression for close to a decade.
Part of that had to do with having kundalini syndrome as a result of advanced pranayama practises combined with bouts of drug use and a slew of unresolved childhood trauma issues.
Recently I discovered the Microcosmic Orbit and began to move qi down the front channel. Something happened and there was a tremendous opening and release. A wave of bliss engulfed me and cool, healing energy flowed all around the front side of my body all the way down to my feet. I could feel the pressure of qi in the head loosen and immediately felt a lot more grounded and stable emotionally. Developing the lower tan tien by abdominal breathing and learning the healing sounds and simple things like embracing the tree standing posture, have all helped tremendously.
I used to get these stabs of anxiety at the solar plexus, and also developed a weak voice due to problems with the throat centre. All of that has improved remarkably. I was even visited in the psychic realm by a powerful being, maybe an immortal, who blessed me, saying some words of advice in a very loud voice. Whatever happened as a result of doing the orbit (i think it was the opening of the front channel and thus the balancing of the qi) has been a tremendous healing. Now Im just plodding forward healing the deeper causes like the psychological traumas, but with a lot less anxiety and stress.
The answer to your problem could just as easily be a redirection of your qi by some basic Qigong. Open your front channel and see if that doesnt help you. When you actively balance yin and yang things seem to happen that help you along, sometimes quite dramatically!May 21, 2012 at 4:07 am #39314
Recapitulation is a term used by Carlos Castaneda in his book, The Eagles Gift, published in 1982. In The Eagle’s Gift, Florinda, one of don Juan’s party of warriors, teaches Castaneda about the process and purpose of recapitulation. She explained that recapitulation consisted of “recollecting one’s life down to the most insignificant detail” and that when a woman’s recapitulation was complete she “no longer abided by the limitations of her person.” She further explained that in the process of recapitulation one recounts all the feelings they invested in whatever memory they were reviewing.
Florinda told Castaneda that recapitulation often began with a list of items to be recalled. One then proceeded to work through the list one item at a time staying with the item until all of the emotions around the event had been felt. The recapitulation was done with the breath. While recalling the event, one inhaled slowly, moved their head from the right shoulder to the left. The next breath moved from left to right and was an exhalation. The purpose of the breath was to restore energy. When breathing from right to left one would “pick up the filaments they left behind” and when breathing from left to right they would “eject filaments left in them by other luminous bodies involved in the event being recollected.”
This (SM) might be nice for some, but it can also make some others more disturbed.
I would say that for somebody who wants to be real practitioner, avoiding to go to doctor and counselor is reasonable.
My advice is to learn to recapitulate like Carlos Castaneda is teaching it (best resource is from his Eagle book and it’s chapter Florinda).
And because Kundalini Syndrome was mentioned these head movements are good for disturbing silvery flashes in front of the head.
HOWDYMay 21, 2012 at 7:26 am #39316
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent thought. Common attributes of mind include perception, reason, imagination, memory, emotion, attention, and a capacity for communication. A rich set of unconscious processes are also included in many modern characterizations of mind.
Theories of mind and its function are numerous. Earliest recorded speculations are from the likes of Zoroaster, the Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Greek, Indian and, later, Islamic and medieval European philosophers. Pre-modern understandings of the mind, such as the neoplatonic “nous” saw it as an aspect of the soul, in the sense of being both divine and immortal, linking human thinking with the unchanging ordering principle of the cosmos itself.
Which attributes make up the mind is much debated. Some psychologists argue that only the “higher” intellectual functions constitute mind, particularly reason and memory. In this view the emotionslove, hate, fear, joyare more primitive or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind as such. Others argue that various rational and emotional states cannot be so separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and should therefore be considered all part of what we call the mind.
In popular usage mind is frequently synonymous with thought: the private conversation with ourselves that we carry on “inside our heads.” Thus we “make up our minds,” “change our minds” or are “of two minds” about something. One of the key attributes of the mind in this sense is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access. No one else can “know our mind.” They can only interpret what we consciously or unconsciously communicate.
…the description of the stage of generation has emphasized one’s appearance as a deity, but of at least as much importance is the cultivation of what is called “divine pride” . The very meaning of “mantra” in “Secret Mantra” is protection of the mind from ordinary appearance and from conceiving oneself to be ordinary. In the systems of Secret Mantra, one protects the mind from ordinariness by combining vizualisation of purity-the divine mansion and its divine inhabitants-with “divine pride”, the thought that one is oneself the deity being visualized. in fact, the development of divine pride is said to be the main practice of the stage of geneneration, the cultivation of divine appearances being of secondary importance. The two are, of course, closely connected and mutually supportive.
Adhering to an attitude of divine pride seems to run contrary to the central Buddhist teaching of selflessness, which is that the inherently existent I, innately conceived to exist by ordinary, ignorant awarenesses, is utterly non-existent. However, divine pride is cultivated only after meditation on emptiness, which negates the false conception of I; hence, the I of the deity yoga is not conceived inherently to exist, as is the ordinary I, but rather is understood to be nominally existent, even when one is completely focused on the thought that one is deity. Thus, divine pride can actually serve as an antidote to the ordinary conception of I and the afflictive pride based on that.
-DANIEL COZORT, Highest Yoga Tantra
A handsome stranger once came into a certain village and strolled about among the people in mysterious silence. All the maidens admired him and wished that he would choose one of them for his bride. But he said nothing, and at last walked away into the forest and disappeared from sight.
A month later the stranger came again, and this time one of the maidens fell so much in love with him that she resolved to follow him into the forest, as she could not bear to be separated from him.
When the stranger looked back and saw her coming behind him, he stopped, and begged her to return home; but she would not, and exclaimed, “I will never leave you, and wherever you go, I will follow.”
“Beautiful maiden, you will regret it,” replied the stranger sadly, as he hurried on.
After a while he stopped again, and once more begged her to retrace her steps. But she made the same reply, and again the handsome stranger said in sorrowful tones, “You will regret it, beautiful maiden!”
They went far into the depths of the forest, and at length reached a tree at the foot of which there lay a leopard skin.
Standing under the tree, the stranger began to sing a melancholy song, in which he told her that though he was allowed once a month to wander about in villages and towns like a man, he was in reality a savage leopard and would rend her in pieces as soon as he regained his natural form.
With these words he flung himself upon the ground, and immediately become a snarling leopard and began to pursue the terrified girl.
But fear gave such speed to her feet that he could not overtake her. As he pursued her he sang that he would tear her in small pieces, and she in another song replied that he would never overtake her.
For a great distance they ran, and then the maiden suddenly came to a deep but narrow river, which she could not cross. It seemed as if the leopard would catch her after all. But a tree, which stood on the riverbank, took pity on her and fell across the river, so that she was able to cross.
At last, nearly exhausted, she came to the edge of the forest and reached the village in safety. The leopard, disappointed of its prey, slunk back into the forest, and the handsome stranger was never seen again.
I’m sorry, because this is not Daoist but Buddhist.
>>>I used to get these stabs of anxiety at the solar plexus, and also developed a weak voice due to problems with the throat centre. All of that has improved remarkably. I was even visited in the psychic realm by a powerful being, maybe an immortal, who blessed me, saying some words of advice in a very loud voice. Whatever happened as a result of doing the orbit (i think it was the opening of the front channel and thus the balancing of the qi) has been a tremendous healing. Now Im just plodding forward healing the deeper causes like the psychological traumas, but with a lot less anxiety and stress>>>
I would say that I have never had too serious social anxiety problems, but because of the nature of mind just anyone would need, as a part of spiritual path, to be in various situations more receiving, or more defensive, and even in some situations warring.
I earlier mentioned usefulness (IMO) of recapitulation, because for immediate purposes one learns to internalize one’s experiences, and dealing with them without immediate external situations again stimulating some earlier, maybe painfull and afflictive memories, so that one can really start to learn handle the situation at hand. One concentrates for what mind experiences and don’t look for new external experiences.
Mandala practice is further stage in Buddhist Tantric Meditation for this same faculty, but aimed for more advanced internalization.
Ps. Sorry for my broken English.May 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm #39318
Im not spending time to read that.
Another way to solve social anxiety problems is to live life as a hermit.
Solitude in nature is very therapeutic.
but were here to live life not escape from it….
As far as Michael Winns opinion on loving eachother as thyself. Its pretty easy if you are genuine.
Self love leads to selfish ways. Thats what Ive learned from people over the past few years.
Im a rockhound, and when I go rockhounding, I think about the clubs, local museums family and friends before myself. Its a matter of putting others before yourself.
Im checking out of this one
I dont need the healing tao society…..May 22, 2012 at 2:52 am #39320
In the classical presentation of the longevity exercise, the student is instructed at this point to exhale completely and hold the lungs empty for as long as comfortable. This is analogus to “running the carburetor lean” on an automobile and is designed to burn off toxins and impurities that may have accumulated in the lungs during normal respiration. One should never strain or overexert when performing these techniques. Most people can only hold this exhalation for a few seconds. Beginners are advised to remain at this level for at least 30 days.
That a direct relation exists between the breath and the heart rate must be obvious. The following practices are know collectively as Qi Gong (Chi Kung) Qi meaning breath, and Gong meaning pause. Literally, Qi Gong translates as a cessation or pause in the movement of the breath. This is accomplished in three ways: by hypoventilation (holding the breath); hyperventilation (oxygen saturation); and by balanced breathing.
Hypoventilation makes the the blood more acidic by diminishing the amount of oxygen in the blood. It is characterized by a sensation of heat which floods over the body. This also causes the heart to beat faster as it strives to restore the proper pH balance of the blood by circulating it more quickly. Hyperventilation is characterized by a chill feeling of cold, which permeates the body. It causes the blood to become more alkaline by altering the system with large amounts of oxygen. This makes the heart to beat lower. Proper or balanced breathing produces a sensation of calmness and relaxation.
There are three major “centers of power” in the human body. The sacral pump, the heart pump, and the cranial pump. The first, at the base of the spine, is activated by the lotus posture. The second beats constantly. The third is the tip of the tongue pressing, in harmony with the pulse, against the roof of the mouth. Each of these “centers” is represented by a specific mudra or finger-knitting position. Between these centers centers are nine “gates” up the spinal column that enable the ninja to collect qi in the hara, cultivate it through the breathing techniques, and elevate it to the mysterious chamber of the mind to achieve enlightenment. Each of these “gates” is represented by a specific mudra. Each requires a specific breathing technique to “open” the associated endoctrine gland and allow the qi to rise.
-ASHIDA KIM, Secrets of the Ninja
The attainment of the impure illusory body at the beginning of the “reverse” process after having achieved the metaphoric clear light of mental isolation is similar to the way an intermediate state body is manifested in the process of death, intemediate state, and rebirth. At the time of the death, the mind of clear light of death becomes manifest; immediately after it has ceased, the coarser minds serially manifest, beginning with the mind of black-near attainment of the reverse process, and an intermediate state body-a type of illusory body-instantaneously rises from the fundamental wind.
Acquiring the ability to manifest an illusory body means, in effect, that one has overcome death forever. Ordinarily one has no control over the process of death, intermediate state, and rebirth, being powerlessly drawn into the cyclic existence again and again; but one who has attained an illusory body cannot die, for to die means to experience the process of death due to impelling force of karma, thence to be drawn into an intermediate state body and thence to be drawn into yet another birth. One who has achieved an illusory body has gained control over the winds and can experience the process of death without entering the intermediate state and taking rebirth.
-DANIEL COZORT, Highest Yoga Tantra
What would be more romantic to do together, with one’s boy or girl friend, than some science (various experiments) and mathematics (maybe first geometry, then algebra, and if there would be some time still left, for example two-variable calculus as a curiosity for future advancement)?
If one would like to use Daoist practices for serious healing, in my opinion, one would need to check one’s willful stamina, and first of all to learn patience, and also accept one’s life situation at all levels.
HOWDYMay 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm #39322
obtuse degeneration into ‘low metabolite’ mental obesity
compression into cock and load industrialite feminazi-ism
axiomatic smoke screens of zero g substance free “diet” truffle-isms backed by artificial pre-serve-ativesMay 23, 2012 at 3:39 am #39324
The Anthropocene is a recent and informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems. The term was coined by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer but has been widely popularized by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behavior on the Earth’s atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological era for its lithosphere.
In 2008 a proposal was presented to the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London to make the Anthropocene a formal unit of geological time. A large majority of that Stratigraphy Commission decided the proposal had merit and should therefore be examined further. Steps are being taken by independent working groups of scientists from various geological societies to determine if the Anthropocene will be formally accepted into the Geological Time Scale.
Many scientists are now using the term and the Geological Society of America titled its 2011 annual meeting: Archean to Anthropocene: The past is the key to the future. The Anthropocene has no precise start date, but based on atmospheric evidence may be considered to start with the Industrial Revolution (late 18th century). Other scientists link it to earlier events, such as the rise of agriculture. Evidence of relative human impact such as the growing human influence on land use, ecosystems, biodiversity and species extinction is controversial, some scientists believe the human impact has significantly changed (or halted) the growth of biodiversity. The Anthropocene may have begun as early as 14,000 to 15,000 years before present, based on lithospheric evidence; this has led other scientists to suggest that “the onset of the Anthropocene should be extended back many thousand years”; this would be closely synchronous with the current term, Holocene.
Ferdydurke is a novel by the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz, published in 1937. In this darkly humorous story, Joey Kowalski describes his transformation from a 30-year-old man into a teenage boy. Kowalski’s exploits are comic and fervid — for this is a modernism closer to Dada and the Marx brothers than to the elevated tones of T. S. Eliot or Ezra Pound — but also carry a subtle undertone of philosophical seriousness.
A 22-year-old man in Sydney has been fined for waving the Australian flag from between his buttocks during a visit by Queen Elizabeth to the country last year.
Liam Lloyd Warriner, a barman, was fined Tuesday by a Brisbane court a sum of 500 pounds for creating public nuisance.
I did most of the construction alone, falling the trees, dragging them with a comealong, and raising the logs with blocks and tackles. I needed more than one building as the BC government insisted I have a commercial reason to be in the mountains ecotourism was the only practical way to earn money in this high, lonely and spectacular location.
Maybe the original question was not totally serious, because this “showing butts” seems to be very important for the narrative.
By the way I have now almost made my education in construction (computing is still almost totally missing) and next I try to find cheapest way to get enough formal education in IB (int business).
I’m not worried about specialization from my own part, because freedom seems to be very much matter which is in one’s own hands.
But I also see it as an attractive alternative to become at least part time wilderness/cave dweller, to maximize the time which is available for qigong & yoga.
S & M seems to be somehow critical question in one particular sense. I now have especially Goethe in my mind.
HOWDYMay 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm #39326May 26, 2012 at 4:16 am #39328
There is an ancient riddle which has taken many forms in different places. This tale, which originated with the Kwajigan, the Masters of Wisdom, in the eleventh century: a man wishes to cross a river with three things; a wolf, a sheep and a cabbage. The man has access to a small boat, with a capacity for only himself and one other thing. How does the man get all three across without letting either the wolf eat the sheep or the sheep eat the cabbage?
There is one more formidable pitfall of dreaming: the very strength of the dreaming body. For example, it is very easy for the dreaming body to gaze at the Eagle’s emanations uninterruptedly for long periods of time, but it is also very easy in the end for the dreaming body to be totally consumed by them. Seers who gazed at the Eagle’s emanations without their dreaming bodies died, and those who gazed at the Eagle’s emanations with their dreaming bodies burned with the fire from within.
-CARLOS CASTANEDA, The Fire from Within
We’ve seen earlier that charges exhibit some fascinating behavior, but their bag of tricks is not exhausted. Not by a long shot. What we are going to see next is both familiar and far more subtle that meet the eye: light. let’s start by means of a thought experiment technique. This is called gedankenexperiment, in mixed German/English. The term was coined by Hans Christian Oersted and was used extensively by Albert Einstein. In your mind’s eye, imagine two long vertical conductors, some distance apart. Put a positive charge on the left conductor and call it A. Now give the right conductor a charge and call it B. We’ll make charge A the active charge (charge A is stationary/moves upward with constant velocity/ accelerates upward/is set into harmonic motion, traveling up and down the conductor like a mass on a spring)and see how charge A’s actions affect charge B.
-ARTHUR W. WIGGINS, The Joy of Physics
…the early yakuza developed an elaborate ceremony to initiate new recruits into the organization. Within the triad societies of the Chinese underworld, the rites involved the killing of a young rooster, the reciting of thirty-six oaths before an altar, and the drawing of blood from recruit’s fingers. The cutting of a new member’s skin, done to symbolize blood relations, was also heavily practiced by the Sicilian mafia until the 1930s. The old Mafia initiations had religious overtones as well. A paper was burned, representing the immolation of a saint, the recruit swore an oath pledging his honor, loyalty, and blood to the Mafia.
-ALEC DUBRO & DAVID E. KAPLAN, Yakuza – Japan’s Criminal Underworld
The definition of Physical Isolation is: that stage of completion ranging from the point at which a yogi who has completed the subtle stage of generation of this system, through meditation on the entire mandala in a subtle drop at the lower opening, produces an exalted wisdom of emptiness that arise through the winds entering, abiding, and dissolving in the central channel, through to but not including generating the exalted wisdom that arises from the upper and lower winds dissolving in the central channel a the heart.
-NGA-WANG-BEL-DEN, gsang chen rgyud sde bzhi’i sa lam gyi rnam bzhung gsal byed
I don’t know whose mind is now warping, but I have impression that if one is not strenghtening one’s mind, one anyway warps.
Sorry for so many citations, but I have still some reservations about this effortless alchemy or actually when it is right time to mainly rely on that.
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