August 15, 2006 at 11:26 am #16483
Somebody passed me a book which contains an interesting passage I thought I’d type out. I think it bears on the whole discussion being had w/ Fajin Michael and Bagua etc.
The main intent of typing this out for me is to clear up one question – for me if for no-one else – which is, can meditation of a Taoist sort ever NOT include the body? Everyone here seems to include the body so why is there still an implication on Michael’s part that Fajin is trying to ignore the body? Also, I do NOT necessarily believe that quiet sitting ALONE is on anyone’s agenda as a complete method – before anyone disagrees with that, read on!
here’s the text:
In China, the most popular methods of cultivation are those derived from Buddhism and Taoism but there are also many methods that were not derived from either one of these two traditions.
The most popular Buddhist methods are reciting the names of Buddha, cultivating Chih and Kuan (ie., quiet sitting and contemplation), observing the mind, or employing Zen techniques. For those who truly believe in the esoteric teachings, incantations, chanting mantras or visualization methods are regarded as ideal. Those who employ Buddhist meditation methods generally suppose mental cultivation is sufficient. As a consquence, physical transformations and bodily changes are ignored.
Taoist meditation methods, on the other hand, place great emphasis on physical changes. They even consider opening the Tu Mai, Jen Mai and all eight extra meridians, recovering health, and increasing a person’s allotted lifespan as the natural effect of the Tao. If one knows how to cultivate only the mind by means of Buddhist methods and does not know the wonders of physical change, his cultivation is not consistent with Tao. Taoists therefore criticize Buddhist methods as showing only ‘the cultivation of their nature,’ and not ‘the cultivation of life’. Taoists consequently insist that ‘cultivation of both nature and life’ is the genuine Tao and believe that cultivation of life without cultivation of nature is a major mistake. It has been said that “By cultivation of nature only, without the cultivation of life, the yin spirit will not become a saint in ten thousand kalpas.” In his commentary on the I Ching, Confucius says that we should “Probe the principle to the depths, attain the whole nature, and then experience the culmination of life.” [Grasping the Yuan Jing, anyone?]
Whether one is Buddhist or Taoist, there is one question regarding meditation that should be asked: “Is there any method that neglects or abandons the physical body, the sensations, emotions, mental states or thoughts associated with it?”
… and who wrote this? Nan Huai-Chin, that’s who! – see “Tao and Longevity”, tr. Wen Kuan Chu. This edition I have here is from 1984.
Best NNAugust 15, 2006 at 12:04 pm #16484
Nan Huai Chin, in Grass Mountain, says there is a Daoist saying that goes something like (can’t remember exactly), “cultivating elixer without self is the biggest mistake, cultivating self without cultivating elixer is to practice for 10, 000 aeons without becoming a sage.”
The point is that Michael’s path is about cultivating elixer without the first stage that all Daoists do, disciplining the heart, or working on self nature as Confucius said. All Daoists do that, just look at the Tao Te Ching, here on Wudang, etc.
Buddhists only work on the self, and the alchemy gets done by itself without “spinning qi” as Daoists do.
So I guess you can say that Daoists work on elixers, and Buddhists work on self. But pretty much all Daoist schools include both working on self and cultivating elixer, but first discipline the heart (work on self), then cultivate elixer.
I include both Daoist and Buddhist methods of cultivation because I think they are both essential and I think that Michael has done an excellent job in understanding shen which is not very known in qigong circles these days and I will practice his alchemy one day too.
Just trying to make things clearer,
FajinAugust 15, 2006 at 1:19 pm #16486
My experience is “Stillness” does not mean fixed, even though some on this site define it that way, when they do it is clear they are basing it on intellect, not experience.
Stillness is a way to experience life directly, in all its changes and transformations, if one does not get this we cann’t talk anymore, we just go round and round.
Stillness is the portal that leads to experiencing life without filters, preconceived ideas and fixed pattterns. Cultivating this is alchemy and is process and develops over time.
Stillness allows one to see movement in non-movement, to direclty experience the integration or insepearable nature of life, including patterns of Yin-Yang, Five Phases,eight gua, 64-gua, etc.
Stillness and movement are one, not two. Its impossible to only have stillness and not movement. But as most teachers of most any art will say, “slow down” and you will understand what is going on and you will develop your skill better.
We have had these discussions, all in archives. A quick note on your question on other area of this site.
The fundamental difference I see between Tao Alchemists on this and Chan. Tao alchemists think you are incomplete, you must do alchemy to make something you do not have now or will not naturally occur, if you dont your “being” will spit into parts and go into the collective, the chance for an integtrated spirit/immortal is lost. This is the splitting point for me.
Chan believes you are complete now, as you are, it is the overdevelopment of the intellect/ego/emotions that creates a separation from realizing and living from yout true nature, both as an individual and part of an eternal creation.
Now I practive both, as each has their benefits, but to me, Chan is in Tao Alchemy, it has to be.
Later Heaven and Early heaven are not two separate things, they exist simultaneously, it is like stillness-movement exist togehter. One can use these terms in many ways, does not mean they are correct.
The Five Shen are not separate, they are one shen, with five aspects or qualites, this inseparable aspect must be taught from the beginning, but seems to get lost. They are inseparable and really one as Yin-Yang is in separable and are ONE.
baguaAugust 15, 2006 at 2:56 pm #16488
>>Just trying to make things clearer<<
Thanks, NNAugust 15, 2006 at 2:59 pm #16490August 15, 2006 at 4:57 pm #16492
A disciple asked Shang-yang-tzu, “It is certainly true that ‘there are not two Ways in the world.’ The Way of Lao-tzu is the Way of alchemy, the Way of alchemy is the Way of essence and life. But what Bodhidharma brought from India is ‘directly pointing to the human mind for perception of its essence and attainment of buddhahood.’ Is this beyond alchemy?”
Shang-yang-tzu said, “The Way of Bodhidharma is identical to the way of alchemy.”
NNAugust 15, 2006 at 5:17 pm #16494
That was magnificent. Definately not ignoramus-like! HAHAHA
Reading this at 4:00 am (now) has made my day.
FajinAugust 15, 2006 at 5:18 pm #16496
Yes, brother Pa Kua,
what you have been telling me since day 1, now I have opened up to this truth.August 15, 2006 at 5:57 pm #16498
>>Definately not ignoramus-like!<<
That is because Shang-yant-tzu said it not me! NNAugust 15, 2006 at 9:00 pm #16500
bugua, (as much as i don’t enjoy semantics) i like your definitin of stillness:
****Stillness is the portal that leads to experiencing life without filters, preconceived ideas and fixed pattterns*********
that’s how i see it too. the state of CLARITY. a state of pure potentiallity where the original knower within is awakened.
mAugust 16, 2006 at 2:50 am #16502
There are aspects of our multi deminsional self that we are not aware of. So yes we have not made all of your true self present here and now. Even the true self is a multiple of the hole. We all ask for help and it takes time for the process to happen. I feel alot of people confuse the true self with the wuji.
“if you dont your “being” will spit into parts and go into the collective, the chance for an integtrated spirit/immortal is lost.”
All that would happen is that the person did not decide to take that route. Your past lifes that are right here with you, all made the choose to not achieve immortality. So it is your turn, you are the guide. What will you do with this life? Even the life force I bet does not know. The question is why on a deep level do you not want to return? I would say because you love this. Because the idea of holding and walking with your multi deminsional self here and now is what turns you on. In the “past” it might not have been your goal. That goal is always a possibility in any life but alot just work with the karmic pattern they came in with. The wuji is in the middle of the yin-yang, where is the yin yang. Where does love exist? This is not linear. This is some thing we are getting are feet wet with.
I am not agianst chan or zen. But I will explore any idea or ideal.August 16, 2006 at 2:55 am #16504
I do not think it is that we are dancing, but how we are dancing. I have seen comments like Nnonnth made before on this form.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.