Archive for the ‘effortlessness’ Tag
Temptation is in the small things…..
Love is patient endurance……
Imagine you are a Taoist… you wake up in the morning and do your Qigong while your blood sugar and adrenalin levels are high.
Then you have some fruit, later for lunch, a nice salad with some veggies. When you are done for the day, when you can relax, you enjoy a piece of fish, some meditation and then off to a restful sleep…
I have a food/nutrition philosophy; mostly, I only eat food. By that, I mean “food that a natural person would eat”. For example, in nature, there are no such things as bread or cheese, or packaged foods, and most food we now eat cooked was consumed raw. I am not against cooked food, but mostly keep to raw foods. In the cooked food area, I think we need to cook our meat these days, and I occasionally eat cooked beans and rarely even potatoes.
For the most part, I eat as if I was a natural person living in the natural world; fruit, vegetables, and some meat make up the lion’s share of my diet. Did you know that in countries where we consider people “under nourished” there is a longer life expectancy than here in America? Most people just eat too much of the wrong foods at the wrong times…
Another principle I mostly adhere to is that of proper food combining or for me actually, not combining… Because of the facts of the body’s digestive system, we can optimize our diets to work in harmony with our natural attributes. For example, our digestive juices are specific for certain foods and bad combinations can cancel out the chemistry so we get poor or no digestion. Also drinking after eating dilutes the digestive acid causing incomplete digestion. Starch like bread, rice, or potatoes, require a different chemistry then protein; this can lead to such things as un-digested meat rotting for days inside our intestines.
Meals as common as “Fish and rice” or Steak and potatoes” “Spaghetti and meat sauce” and even the “Sandwich” are all recipes for poor digestion and I avoid them. The main idea is, never mix anything with fruit, and do not mix proteins and starches.
A typical day’s food consumption for me would be something like this…
Mornings, from 6 AM until noon I only eat fruit ….
Afternoons I limit my food intake to vegetables and possibly a small amount of either meat or a starch.
Evenings from 6 PM until nine I would eat my meat meal.
Do not eat or drink anything after the meat or after 9 PM.
Fruit can move through you in an hour, veggies take about 4 hours but meat takes 8 hours to digest. Wait that amount of time between meals to avoid stimulating conflicting digestive chemistry. This way everything gets a chance to digest well.
Do whatever you want to when you eat out or are visiting friends do not be a “Food Nazi”; I’m just suggesting some common sense guidelines for your information. Don’t be self-righteous about it; just remember: “Temptation is in the small things and love is patient endurance”. In time, you will see the truth and adapt to a more healthy way of living.
I have cured my acid stomach problems, quit eating empty calories, eliminated almost all sugar, dairy, gluten, starch, fat, supplements, medicines, drugs and alcohol from my diet, and lost over fifty pounds… effortlessly.
We may never achieve the bodies depicted above, and yet we can all dream…. and do our best to be the best we can be. Somewhere inside of us is the image of the perfect self; hold to that image and take right action.
Proper assimilation of food and daily morning qigong is a perfect two-prong approach to balanced health.
First, gain an understanding of your energy system.
Align the body correctly to facilitate energy flow.
Relax the muscles to encourage energy flow.
Learn to dissolve your mind and body together.
Develop an emotional connection to the energy within.
Become intimate with your energy.
Practice until you know what is right in your heart.
Let go of your silly ego needs.
Gain freedom from your thoughts,
Become as open as Heaven,
Be as firm as the Earth,
Shine brightly like a star,
Be as flexible as water,
Gain inspiration from all things,
Know the truth that will set you free.
There are many paths to freedom yet only those who learn the truth will be truly free. The real you is often hidden behind layers of physical and egocentric defenses. Physical obstructions, thinking, and emotions, all inhibit your true self from shining through.
Spiritual qigong? Medical qigong? Martial qigong? Meditation? Internal, external, standing, sitting, moving, stillness, Taiji, whatever…. It makes very little difference; they are essentially the same thing. Don’t get confused by esoteric teachings. Do not be distracted from the truth by thinking too much about it.
Do not make your journey complicated; just follow the simple methods outlined in your training. Adding too much just takes you farther away from the truth. Practice “Wu Wei“; practice with diligence, yet keep it simple and you will gain profound awareness.
The truth is simple:
Love your energy as though it was the most valuable substance in the universe….in time you will discover the creator of all things.
Go to Qigong on Maui web site
There is no "try" only do, or not do (Master Yoda)
Recently someone said to me, “I need to learn to relax”, after apologizing for laughing at the remark, I poised the comment, “Realize that you can’t learn to relax, you need to un-learn being discontent.”
When things are going well, they just flow correctly. A pro athlete never forces anything; neither does a pro musician, or an artist. If they did, you could tell it was not quite right. When things flow from your heart it is true and correct and it shows. When we are balanced within and we are in harmony with our surroundings there is no “effort”
Every time I “try real hard” in life, I usually mess things up. So will you if you don’t understand the principle of “Non Striving”
Among the basic Taoist principles that can improve our lives “Wu Wei” is the most important and pervasive concept of all. Not forcing things seems like an obvious concept to most of us and yet our competitive nature often encourages us to do so. It’s not that “force” is a bad thing but unnaturally forcing things usually is. Make things right with the universe and effortlessness is an indication that you “get it”.
Any feeling of “forcing”, “striving” or “contrivance” tells you that you do not get “it”.
The “it” I am referring to is the understanding that you are (or not) coming from your heart. Do not think this is easy however, I’m no Pollyanna; you might say “It’s simple, it’s just not easy”. The Tao Te Ching is full of commentary on this subject in fact almost every one of the 81 verses contains a statement about Wu Wei.
“The sage does nothing and yet nothing remains undone”
“My way is simple, yet no one can follow it”
“An infant can follow the way. But can an eighty year old?”
“To manage a large country is like frying a small fish, the less you poke it the better.”
“The sage leads by following”
“Water is the softest thing in the universe yet it overcomes the hardest things”
“The greatest misfortune is discontentment.”
“The sage never contrives greatness that is why he is truly great”
The other day someone said to me, “I was told (by a qigong teacher) to force the qi downward during qigong”, holding back a laugh I smiled and went on to explain “Wu Wei” a guiding principle.
When we relax, the qi will flow effortlessly, using “force” causes muscle tension that uses up more qi then it allows to pass through, resulting in less movement of the qi.
Again I recommend getting your very own copy of the Tao Te Ching (see my reading list) the philosophy of Taoism provides a foundation for understanding reality.
First, learn all you can; then forget it all. Learning is prejudice and contrived and will limit you. Having expectations can lead one to disaster. Knowledge is only a starting point, when we apply the principle of “Wu Wei” we turn knowledge into something far more valuable…Understanding
The Crab Nebula
Making quantum leaps of energy in the human system.
This page evolved from a foot note to Taoist Meditation Practices part 2; as I was reviewing the post I discovered more work was needed. Republished as a worksheet, and subject to revision as I refine my theory, this document is archived in it’s own category for reference and it will be changed as it evolves. I want to explore and elaborate on human energy quanta for purely esoteric reasons; please do not judge or denounce this work as it is an ongoing theory, comments however would be useful and appreciated.
Energy quanta multiply synergistically as they combine, in an algorithmic accumulation of energy. The following is a very simplistic attempt to explain numerically the potential for increased functioning at the different levels of energy.
Physical + Mental + Emotional + Spiritual
For example, imagine our physical energy as a factor of one energy unit or Eu and our mental energy as a factor of two and our emotional energy as a factor of three and our spiritual energy as a factor of four.
Simple addition yields a combined Eu of 10 yet when multiplied and rarefied to the spiritual level, the total is 24 times.
Reference these following equations, the numbers indicate Eus in each quantum layer of energy.
1+2+3+4=10 Simple addition
1x2x3x4=24 Synergistic algorithmic accumulation of quanta
After correcting for the necessary Eu needs in each layer and then dividing the remainder by the base Eu in each layer we have an expression of the improvement factor available in each realm.
24-(2+3+4)=15/1=15 Energy potential expressed Physically
24-(1+3+4)=16/2=8 Energy potential expressed Mentally
24-(1+2+4)=17/3=5.6 Energy potential expressed Emotionally
24-(1+2+3)=18/4=4.5 Energy potential expressed Spiritually
Lets say our spirit is normally a base 4 Energy units…we could multiply that up to 24-(Eu required for P+M+E)=18, now these 18 Eus of rarefied energy are available to heal any area that requires them. Used solely to enhance our spirits we would have 4.5 times our base Eu needs available. In reality these “extra” Eus would be divided up into each realm and so the mathematics would be long and (boring) and complex.
I am theorizing that while the energy is multiplied as it is accumulated (algorithmic projection) it is redistributed linearly (liner projection) due to the opening of the layers and the semi permeable nature of the boundaries that make up each energy shell layer.
Please understand I am only making these numbers up to explain the power of multiplied energy quanta in the human system, but it makes sense actually, these may be viable numbers. It is possible that an evolved person has the potential to be 15 times less likely to get sick, 8 times more in control of their thoughts, 5.6 times less likely to suffer negative emotions, and 4.5 times more spiritually aware then before they transformed their energy.
When one can still their bodies, minds, emotions thus combining Eus inwardly and not wasting them in each realm we multiply their potential. Once they are combined into the spirit, then they are redirected and redistributed externally as necessary; effortlessly, as directed by our now aligned and aware and energized spirit.
Find your Way to the top
First, combine lead and mercury
Second, form the gold pill
Third, refine the gold into the elixir….
In the first three articles, Taoist Meditation Basics, I laid out the foundation for a skill known as “Spiritual Alchemy”. It is a profound and yet simple path and in a way even fun. Don’t let the next few paragraphs throw you off, I’m just writing them for “full disclosure” on the topic.
The Taoist alchemical texts such as “The Book of Balance and Harmony” uses metaphorical language that seems at times to contradict itself. I will try to simplify the jargon from the arcane and purposely cryptic text.
For example, try to comprehend the following typical (paraphrased) instructions:
Combine lead and mercury into the crucible. Then fire them in the furnace to form the gold pill. Refine and rarify the gold pill and the elixir will form. Then you may enter the mysterious pass.
Let’s look at the symbolic language. Lead, represents essence, sort of like your physical energy, body and common sense. Mercury (quicksilver) represents mental/emotional energy, thinking etc. The crucible, is the body‘s energy channels and dantien at your center. The furnace, represents the mind, used to cook lead and mercury with the fire of discipline, concentration and insight.
The gold pill, is an understanding of energy, a nugget of primordial energy released, an awakening within, a “spiritual embryo” if you will. Refine and rarify refer to practicing cultivation arts like qigong and meditation.
The elixir is a reborn energy system, a full understanding of the principles and practice, being one with primordial energy. The mysterious pass is (a mystery) between Heaven and Earth, the gate into Tao … immortality in Taoist code.
This meditation practice is designed to bring about enlightenment. For Taoists that term is more like “let go of your burden” (mental excess) if you “lighten your load” you are “enlightened.” Also let’s redefine “immortality” to mean “longevity” not necessarily “for all time.” Because you cannot create or destroy energy, the fully realized Taoists, quantum physicists that they are, know that true immortality does indeed exist in some form; to be content with that knowledge is a sagely thing.
To start the practice of spiritual alchemy, remember what the famous sage told the king.
“My mind is merged with my body; my body is merged with my energy, my energy is merged with my spirit, and my spirit is merged with Tao.”
The first step is to merge your mind with your body.
1. Open up your energy channels with some qigong
2. Focus your mental energy into your body
3. Use your mind to dissolve all thoughts and emotions
The second step is to merge your body with your energy.
4. Embrace the pure unadulterated dissolved energy
5. Become one with this energy, refining out imperfections
6. Learn the truth about your true make up
The third step is to merge your energy with your spirit.
7. Repeat the process until you meditate unceasingly
8. Know that you are reborn continually in Tao
9. Live confidently, contentedly, with no fears, forever.
Then your spirit will merge with Tao.
First, combine lead and mercury
Second form the gold pill
Third refine the gold into the elixir….
In the following articles, I will explain how we do these steps and I will give you some tools for performing the work of “Combining Lead and Mercury,“ yielding a “Spiritual Embryo” that you will cherish and nurture until it gives birth to a new you!
Until then learn the essential skill of Tuning your Breath
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Finding the Way
In part one, I laid out the premise for “energy based” meditation techniques that are the basis of Taoist praxis.
While training with my Sifu, Master Dong, I would notice a certain smile upon his face while doing Qigong. I can only describe the smile as the curious look of someone that has a secret; kind of a “I know something you don’t” grin. The reality is, that his smile is a truthful expression of just that, he does know something most people will never know.
Energy is the treasure we all can obtain, wealth beyond comprehension is always available to you. To the Taoist sages the definition of a rich man is “One who knows when he has enough.” Conversely it might be true to say that a poor man is “One that needs (or simply wants) more.”
Basic human needs not withstanding, the “Realized man” of antiquity was often a hermit living off the land, happy to live in a cave and forage for food, living close to nature. In this light, we can see, that beyond food and shelter, “wealth” is a relative thing. Taoists have no problems with having physical wealth, the defining thing is they don’t need any to be content.
A wise person makes themselves rich with the currency of Heaven and Earth. Gathering that treasure that flows from the Tao; accumulating virtues along the Way is the Taoist Way. Lao Tzu says, “Tao gives and gives and yet it is never depleted.” When you have the Way you, you too will find “The more you give, the more you have.”
Our goal in learning Taoist meditation is to connect directly to energy. Like a pile of gold coins we can sit with our energy or we can “spend” it. Every thought, image, fantasy, illusion, emotion and movement we make takes energy. To the Taoists, purifying this energy was like refining gold. They even called the practice “Spiritual Alchemy.” In meditation then, finding this energy and aligning with it, was and is a divine enterprise.
To the untrained, would be meditator, most attempts end in failure. Even with advanced students it is a difficult skill to master without following certain guidelines. For the beginner, sitting still and attempting to “align with your energy” will guarantee that you cannot. This is akin to a light bulb, that when turned on shines out incoherent light, millions of photons shooting out all willy-nilly, colliding with each other and heading off in random directions dissipating quickly into the surrounding darkness.
You need to train your energy system to focus the energy so it can flow on it’s own. A laser beam is a wave of coherent light that has all the photons aligned with each other, all flowing in the same direction remaining focused and able to travel an almost infinite number of miles without dissipating.
In Part 3 I will describe in detail how we can train our energy to be focused like a laser beam instead of wasting most of it with “incoherent emissions” of Qi.
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Taoist Sage Sitting With His Treasure
The Taoist methods of meditation differ significantly from other “styles”. To Taoists, the main focus of all the practices, is to understand reality, be content with that understanding, and to change what needs to change to find contentment within the truth of that reality.
This “Taoist” approach revolves around the concept of “energy”.
For example: Understand that everything is made from energy, align yourself with that energy, and the truth will set you free.
This approach is at odds with most other meditation techniques I have encountered. At least one style I know of uses the following type of format.
For example; Imagine you are (fill in the blank), “pretend” you are happy there, “feel good” escaping from reality.
Without attempting to disrespect other methods, I will describe why the Taoist methods are more effective in this article.
The first thing is, Taoists don’t deal with “Illusions“.
Secondly, “feeling happy” can kill you and “feeling un-happy” may save your life.
Thirdly, if you do not “embrace reality” you never have lasting change.
While this all may seem obvious to many it is often subverted by many “meditation” methods in an attempt to “feel good”. The fact is the attempt to feel good is one the paths that have often lead to evil in the world. To be sure making no attempt to “feel” is a Taoist method that is highly effective. By relaxing our practice, we are following the principle of “Wu Wei” or “non-striving” which allows for the spontaneous flow of energy, and this is a basic Taoist tenant.
The end result of “feeling good” comes not from any contrived means but spontaneously after one is aligned with Tao. Therefore, one only needs to align in order to find the truth and be set free from the endless loop of thoughts that plague the human mind.
As simple as that is, most people never find the peace from which they came from, the treasure beyond all treasures that is always within them.
Ineffective mediation techniques often lead to the following:
Stopping extraneous physicality often sends a person’s energy into the mental/emotional realm where an untrained mind will start on a feed back loop, often enhanced by seemingly random images that get projected onto the dark screen of the “Minds Eye”.
Dealing with illusions leads to delusions that take one further away from reality. Evoking thought and emotions waste the energy that could otherwise heal you.
Thinking, feeling, visualizing, triggers emotions that send energy back into the loop of a thinking, feeling, reactive cycle that leads to distraction and rumination and frustration. Often the overwhelmed student gives up leading to resentment that fuels more thinking feeling reacting ad nauseam. The end result is far worse than not “meditating” at all!
In the Part 2, I will explain how we can avoid this type of pitfall, and what makes the Taoist method superior to methods that involve “thinking” or “feeling”.
“The journey of a thousand miles, starts under your feet.”
For all people on the Way, there are many paths with side excursions and a few distractions and even some “deviations”.
Any well thought out journey starts somewhere; indeed today even scientists think they can explain the origin of the universe. As fantastic as “the big bang theory” is….would you believe that well over 2500 years ago the planet’s original “scientists” the Taoists, had a similar theory?
According to the Taoist cosmology, before anything “existed” there was something they called “Wuji”. This (literally) means “the Void” or “without form” or “the beginning.” From this “Void”,”Tao” emerged, Tao being translated as “the Way” or “path”. An interesting side note corresponds to religious texts….”God created the Heaven and Earth”. For the Taoists you might look at it this way…’From the void, Tao emerged and created the heavens and Earth’.
Is it not sort of enlightening that Taoist thought can merge science and religion and validate both simultaneously? I tread lightly here so as to not evoke sensibilities, but let’s assume that the science of things is always open to scrutiny, and admit that religious texts were written thousands of years ago and are famous for using metaphorical language. Anyway, I’m only attempting to give some perspective to Wuji.
If you are still following me (and wondering what this has to do with Qigong) consider this, finding a “place” without form gives us a connection to divine origins. Notice my choice of words, crafted somewhere between the scientific and religious terminology. It is here where we see one way that “all things are connected”.
Along the Way we often find that science and religion merge into philosophy. By extrapolation it is easy to see that our physical self’s are connected to an understanding of the merger of the two (science and religion) into a philosophy. In the Taoist arts this philosophy is applied to the physical realm so that practitioners can assimilate cosmic energy directly into themselves.
One can see that practicing Qigong is an endeavor using a philosophy combined with science and spirituality, to nurture the physical self that contains our “Self” self.
Now don’t ever get put off by the talk of spirituality or the word “cosmic” as Taoists define these words in a general sense, for instance, tonight I am “inspired” to write this page, and so these words are coming from my “spirit” and as I post this message it is sent (via satellite) into the cosmos.
This stuff is not rocket science, nor is it some intangible “cosmic” thing; the fact is, this concept is so simple it is woefully misunderstood. My approach to Qigong (energy cultivation) is equally pragmatic, I’m not asking anyone to make any leap of faith; only to see the truth. With this understanding, we can now “start” the journey, also know, that by reading this, you already have…..
A Classic Taoist Tale
There was a farmer with a beautiful stallion. He was the envy of all his neighbors.
One stormy night, after a barrage of thunder, the farmer awoke to discover that his prize stallion had run off.
The neighbors all said, “How awful; your wonderful horse is gone!”
The farmer casually replied, ” I don’t know”
About a week later, his neighbors were surprised to see that the horse had returned, and with him a new mare.
The neighbors said, “How wonderful; your stallion has returned and he has brought with him a beautiful new mate!”
The Farmer simply said, I don’t know.”
The next week as the farmer’s son was attempting to break in the new mare, he took a fall and broke his arm.
The neighbors exclaimed, “How terrible that your son has broken his arm, and with harvest so soon!”
The farmer merely said, ” I don’t know.”
After yet another week there came to the village a government man. He was on a mission to conscript “all able- bodied men” into the army to guard the country from the invading enemy horde.
The Neighbors happily stated, ” How fantastic that your son’s arm is broken, now he need not go off to war!”
The farmer just said……
“I don’t know.”
Man follows the way of Nature,
Nature follows the way of Earth,
Earth follows the way of Heaven,
Heaven follows the Way of Tao.
First there was the One, Tao
Then there came the Two, Heaven and Earth,
The Two begets the Third, Heaven, Earth and Humans
From the Three came the ten thousand things…
The Tao contains everything and yet it is nothing…
Always giving, and yet it is never exhausted…
Extending everywhere and yet it is nowhere to be found…
It is the greatest treasure, and at the same time,
It is the simplest of things.
It will never come, and it will never go.
It is the eternal….