Meditation, shamanism, chi, etc

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This topic contains 33 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  ulvfugl 3 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #18905

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    There are already countless websites offering opinions and information on these subjects, on the internet.
    There are hundreds of different approaches to meditation, different schools and traditions.
    People vary enormously, by sex, age, culture, how they understand existence, themselves, it is impossible to generalise.
    Giving specific advice without knowing someone directly, face to face, with all the cues of voice tone, facial expression,posture, etc, is bound to lead to misunderstand and mistakes, so it very unwise.

    I have been describing what I know, as the result of my own experience, in the hope it is useful or helpful to others.

    AmyBe has given me some feedback on what I have written.

    One thing that I could add that I have not mentioned before.

    From time to time, you can make an immense effort, give it everything you have got, for half a minute or so, gather yourself into total concentration, and be as intense as it is possible for you to be. You ARE going to die, after all, and this IS your one and only opportunity to DO this ! 🙂

    #18906

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    So I am deliberately cultivating experiences, so that I can try and give an accurate account as to how I deal with them.

    I think that the standing meditation will trigger all kinds of unfamiliar experiences, because, although, superficially, merely standing appears to be a trivial matter, done in this way, it is not, it breaks all your usual psychological and emotional and habitual patterns. So, that stirs things up a little, and if there’s a lot been bubbling away, under the surface, then you get stuff emerging. And it’s probably stuff you’ve been preferring not to look at.

    So, in my case, I get a rush of memories of very traumatic events from my distant past, with guilt, pain, embarrassment, anger, fury toward certain individuals, sorrow about the tragic misunderstandings that occur, etc.

    And it happens very, very fast, so in an instant I’m swept away, and drowned in a river of that stuff. It sort of multiplies exponentially, because each horrible memory triggers others, like an avalanche.

    Now, it so happens, I’ve already dug through it all, years ago, and so it’s blunted, and because I’m watching very closely, I can see it all as it occurs, and so I put an end to it, by returning to the now. I feel my feet, my breath, and calm myself, and make myself whole.

    People characterise this sort of thing as a panic attack, or Post Trauma disorder, or whatever, and it’ll be understood differently by different psychological and psychiatric schools, or shamanic and other schools for that matter, depending on their theoretical mapping of how a person is structured.

    Doesn’t really matter about the theory, does it. How do you deal with the experience and heal yourself ?

    #18907

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    So, these sort of events, when your inner being gets flooded with very unpleasant and painful material can be completely disabling and excruciating, and you just want to curl and and be dead, or you take some drug or alcohol or do some other behaviour to cope which only makes things worse.

    Which is why I am writing this, out of compassion for people who try to find a way forward out of all that.

    What you have to do, is accept you’ve been damaged, like a tree in a storm, some limbs get ripped off, and then the tree has to grow over the broken area and grow new branches, you have to grow a new healthy ego, build new self-esteem, and so forth, and it take some time and patience, but this is a quick neat way to get there.

    I think you should not be judgemental when the old stuff erupts into consciousness. Just watch it, so you are familiar with it, so next time, you can say ‘Oh, it’s that again’.

    Obviously, it’s demanding your attention. Trying to deny it and push it away, is the worst thing, it’ll just come back twice as strongly.

    If you pass judgement, then you make more problems, because you are dividing yourself, you make an internal battle, between the judge and the judged.
    That’s not a good idea. What we are aiming at is unity, wholeness, getting all the different aspects co-operating, and on the same side, not fighting internal civil wars.

    I tend to hop around from one model to another, depending on which is useful, or, if I’m talking to someone, use the one that they like or understand. So, this sort of internal conflict can be understood using many different models, Freud, Jung, Gestalt Therapy, Fritz Perls, Eric Berne, tantra, chakras, astrology, hundreds of counselling methods and therapies, whatever.

    It’s actually a fantastic intellectual playground for anyone who is inclined toward philosophy, because, at the heart, lies the question, how should people be ? What is human nature ? What should it be, ideally, if we had a choice ?

    But better not go there, or I shall be writing all night… you know..

    So, the main priority, is building the new. That should be the focus. Not the old crap. It’ll keep coming back, but gradually, it’ll get sorted, and weaken, and won’t overwhelm anymore. And anyway, some of it is good crap. The judgement thing can be very dangerous.

    Just because ‘soceity’ or a certain belief system or some strong individual or some code of behaviour ‘disapproves’ and condemns, that doesn’t mean that you have to. Suspend all judgement and just observe, as if you were watching African wildlife at a water hole. It is what it is. Don’t intervene.

    You just notice the pangs, and notice where you feel them, and how they arrive and then pass away, and then other stuff comes along. Don’t let yourself drown, return to the safe refuge, the standing meditation, and purify and be clean and new and free and in the very moment, now, feet glued to the planet, as it hurtles through space, spinning, circling the Sun…

    #18908

    AmyBe
    Participant

    What I have noticed personally is that I was already at the point where I was allowing myself to cry and “let it all out” so to speak, although actually it was more of a case of the dam just couldn’t hold it in anymore too, but now that I am having these “moments”, as I refer to them, and it’s not just standing either, although that works best for now, afterwards it’s where my sadness has a flow to it and isn’t as harsh, if that makes any sense. Also, there is less oppressive corrosive shame involved, less festering resentment overall. The triggers had been there, and now they are something I am learning from instead of fighting against, and even that’s not exactly right, but it’s the best way I can explain it. It’s kinda like a blind men and the elephant thing, and when the blind men get together and talk about what they experience instead of argue over it, well then things start to happen..

    and how to phrase this delicately? am also noticing a few ‘twitches’ inside when I am laying down and resting sometimes..

    #18911

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    Hmm.

    Well, I tend to take a warrior approach. Life is very short. Everybody gets injured. Some people have very pampered, soft, easy lives, like the old aristocrats, who had servants to dress them in the morning,and when the revolution arrived and the servants fled, had no idea how to put their clothes on, because they had never done it themselves, in their whole lives. For them, that was a terrible shock, and hardship. For others, who have more ‘down to earth’ lives, such ‘hardship’ is a joke.

    There are others, who go through such terrible circumstances, cruelty and suffering that it is so awful, it’s almost impossible even to read about it.

    Some people get into therapy groups where they do the ‘poor me’ thing, and everybody takes it in turns to indulge in how bad it is for them, and then they go away, and then come back for a repeat, and that goes on for years, as a social pastime.

    That’s not where I am at. The way I see it, the wheel has come off, let’s find out why, get it fixed back on, so we can get moving again.

    I think I can speak with authority, because of my Cluster Headache. That’s why I consider it to have been a blessing. It qualifies me, in a very strange way, to know about pain and suffering, in a manner that very few people understand. It has been a fabulous teacher. I have been beset, all of my life, by this affliction, stated on the wiki page to be ‘possibly the most painful condition known to medical science’, and I have prevailed. Here I am. Undaunted, and I think that this defines ME, as a human being, in the sense that, a true human being, to be truly human, rises above all things.

    I mean, all of the crap. The pain, but also all the sordid rubbish and petty nonsense that most people seem to revel in and be pre-occupied with.

    and how to phrase this delicately? am also noticing a few ‘twitches’ inside when I am laying down and resting sometimes..

    I don’t know what you mean by this, other than you are probably hinting at your sexual nature, and feelings. Which is a very awkward area to discuss here in public, and there are a zillion other websites that cater for that sort of thing, I’m not into supplying masturbatory fantasy material or pandering to a voyeuristic readership here. But there are some interesting aspects to explore.

    One is, that I a a man, and can never know or fully understand the female experience of sexuality, with it’s monthly cycle, and the growth of a baby in the womb, and birth, and so forth. It’s not just far away from anything like my own male sexuality, but as a individual, I’ve not been involved with fathering children. I’ve had more sexual encounters than I can even remember, but that’s something different.

    What’s interesting now, is the way the witchcraft and tantra and the Mother Goddess movement, view female sexuality, contrasted with the Patriarchy. It’s quite remarkable how the early ‘Church Fathers’ were scared of their own sexuality and of women, Origen castrated himself, all that stuff about the Temptations of St Anthony, it seems to me, they had no idea how to deal with any sexual feelings that they had, and, like Moslem men, they sort of ‘blame the women’ and want to keep them hidden, because they can’t cope with what they feel when they get aroused. But not just them, I have a book of the autobiography of a famous Buddhist who travelled all over the place, and he describes an encounter where he is in proximity to a sexy young female, and it completely freaks him out. He was obviously really an adolescent boy with regard to such things, even though regarded by everyone (including himself) as a most venerable and revered master.

    So, this whole sex thing is a can of worms… but the tantric people don’t see it as something to be fought against, they see it as a vehicle to be used, to master, that can ‘take you to heaven’, so to speak…

    Then there’s Freud. And his idea of the Libido.

    Sigmund Freud defined libido as “the energy, regarded as a quantitative magnitude … of those instincts which have to do with all that may be comprised under the word ‘love’.”[3] It is the instinct energy or force, contained in what Freud called the id, the strictly unconscious structure of the psyche.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libido

    Which imo, is all a complete load of junk, and tells us much more about the soceity and culture of Vienna and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ‘Victorian values’, than anything else…

    Freud admitted that he never cured anybody of anything in his whole career, which is a little odd, for a doctor. But his influence has been enormous. And he provided a livelihood for countless Jewish psychoanalysts.

    Personally, I think that other maps, other models, of how our inner beings are structured are much more useful.

    #18912

    AmyBe
    Participant

    Okay, maybe that was a bit too vague, and yes, I do need to be more specific. I can no longer breed, don’t have the parts, so it’s not necessarily all physical, but was speaking in a tantric kind of way, but wasn’t sure if using the word “kundalini” would fit, and since there is a sexual nature to it, and I am dealing with shame issues, it is not always comfortable for me to talk about, but at the same time, in taking some of what I have been reading here on your blog and with some of the links provided too, I realize that if whatever it is I am learning or that is going on with me has any value, maybe that should be passed on too. It is just my belief that what I have been feeling has not had a physical origin, but has been felt physically as a ripple of other things going on on the “inside”, and that’s the closest I can come to trying to explain it.

    I also am still working on finding a ‘pure place’ within, but am not there yet, but baby steps I suppose, and I believe that whether the pain is emotional or physical, it is best sometimes to, in your words, see that “the wheel has come off, let’s find out why, get it fixed back on, so we can get moving again”.

    #18913

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    I also am still working on finding a ‘pure place’ within..

    Is it not very simple ?

    You just stand. With your eyes closed. You direct your attention, your ‘inner gaze’, so to speak, to the soles of your feet, then up to the top of your head, and then back down again, at everything in between, and see that it is empty, and pure… Just fill it up with awareness, with your attention, with consciousness, and notice that you exist, are existing, in this instant, this moment, this now…

    Concentrate hard, upon doing that. Just for a few minutes, regularly.

    That’s a sort of introduction. For beginners. Because sitting in formal meditation is too difficult and too off-putting. (By formal meditation, I mean proper zazen, not the twaddle that a lot of other people mean when they use the word ‘meditation’.)

    Zazen is better, but if you are desperate, and are intelligent, and really want to learn, then you can learn a lot this way, fast.

    If your mind is noisy and thinking, then make it silent and still. You do this by breathing from just below the navel. So, you take your attention to that area. You pull your belly in, gently but firmly, squeezing the breath out. You then relax that area, sucking the breath in again. Not hard or harshly, just gently and softly, all you need is just sufficient tension in that area to retain your attention there. It helps to break the in breath and out breath into two halves, with a tiny break in the middle, so it becomes sort of ‘hooff-hooff’ as you puff the breath…

    Also, you can visualise that point, as moving along a spindle that goes from the skin of the belly through to the spine, so you sort of slide a bobbin along that spindle, from the front to the back, as you breath out, and reverse, as you breath in…

    All of that, to get concentration, in that area, and then your mind, in the head is silenced. 🙂 It also controls your emotions.

    If you practice this, it gradually begins to be something of a habit, and then does not need so much effort.

    So then we come to chi, or qi, or ki, depending upon the version of Chinese or Japanese, or in Indian, prana. There are some western words which vaguely approximate, but in the main western culture is totally clueless.

    You might find, if you do one long deep breath from that tanden point, below the navel, like a long slow sigh, that you notice a very slight pressure in the back of your head. Or perhaps in your forehead, the sort of drowsy feeling, when you take a big puff on a joint, and/or your eyelids sort of droop as if your were nodding off to sleep.

    That’s because, when you do this stuff, you are bypassing all the intellectual ego cerebral mental activity, and connecting directly with much deeper layers of your being, and the chemistry thereof…

    So. Nobody understands chi, in western scientific medical terms. It’s not even worth trying to discuss or argue under those paradigms. However, it is very well understood by Chinese taoist alchemy and in the martial arts.

    The Chinese taoists use the term alchemy as a metaphor, or an analogy. It was partly because this stuff was secret, so they spoke in coded terms, to hide the real meaning. And partly, because how else could they explain something so strange and obscure ?

    Just as in chemical alchemy, you take different physical substances, and mix them, and they react, and produce new substances with different qualities and properties, so it is with chi.

    The Tibetans and Indians also have their versions, with kundalini, the chakras, prana, ayura vedic medicine, and so forth, and the various tantric practices, but afaik, the Chinese versions are more sophisticated and developed, and I anyway, I know more about those.

    So what you mix together, in this ‘alchemy’, is your mental consciousness, which is more or less synonymous with what I have been calling ‘attention’, and your breath, or a certain kind of breath, and your sexual energy, that the Chinese call jing, or ching. And then you send these three ingredients mixed together, up your spine, to your head, to form a new kind of consciousness, that is sort of ‘energised’.

    So, if you were to do this, in the standing meditation, you would sort of roll your attention down the front of your body, simultaneously exhaling, with those two being tied together, and meeting at the genitals, where you feel your sexual energy, and they combine there, and then the mixture of the three, goes up your spine, and into the skull.

    This is the same thing as kundalini yoga, really.

    People should realise that all of this comes with a big red warning label attached. All kinds of energy and strange stuff gets released by this kind of practice. So proceed gently, slowly, cautiously, and don’t be stupid and reckless.

    I favour Aldous Huxley’s ‘valve’ idea, as in the Doors of Perception. The brain is a valve which filters out everything except what’s needed for basic survival. Which is like 99% of what is incoming. What most people perceive is about 1% of the potential.

    So, what you are doing, when you do these practices, is opening up that valve a little bit. You do it a little bit at a time, and learn.

    This is a good book, see the reviews

    http://www.amazon.com/Taoist-Yoga-Immortality-Charles-Luk/dp/0877280673

    #18914

    AmyBe
    Participant

    I guess I’m doing it and didn’t know I was doing it then; I feel the awareness when I stand and breathe, and that everything just IS, so maybe I don’t think of it as a “pure place” because when I stop doing it, I don’t “take it with me” so it goes. I hope I’m making sense.

    “People should realise that all of this comes with a big red warning label attached. All kinds of energy and strange stuff gets released by this kind of practice. So proceed gently, slowly, cautiously, and don’t be stupid and reckless.”

    That’s probably also what I’ve been noticing with the ‘twitches’ and other things as well, and it’s a good thing probably then I’m off by myself and don’t go anywhere or do anything much, because it allows me to have the freedom to learn about this, and yes, I think I see what you mean about going slow. Also being alone give me the time to express and process a lot of stuffed emotions, which do come up. That still mind doesn’t last long at all one bit, but it is getting easier to let the thoughts roll by and even the emotions just roll by sometimes too.

    #18915

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    This is why I keep mentioning the time aspect.

    Thoughts start and stop, feelings start and stop, all that stuff has beginnings and endings, and it all enters and leaves that ‘inner space’, that some third thing, you, the observer, are attending to.

    So, by means of close attention, introspection, briefly, as you stand, you make a clear, pure, empty space, that is uncontaminated, in the now, free from anything that occurred in the past, and because you still,silence, the mind, and do not fantasise or speculate, about the future, it is not troubled by any worries about what may or may not happen.

    You claim this little patch of freedom, this open area, within yourself, and make it your own. As an impregnable refuge. Even if it only lasts for a minute, that’s better than nothing. Even if only one breath. I have always said, this is just pointing people in the right direction, where they need to look, if they want to ‘regain their soul’, so to speak.

    Of course, it will only last for a minute, or even less, for most people, because they have no ability to sustain concentrated attention, and their mind will get distracted by some little thing, and they lose it, and drop back into the flow of semi-consciousness where most people spend their entire existence, not even being aware that they are alive, most of the time.

    But then, you have to make a supreme effort, and train yourself, to concentrate hard. Like lifting weights. It’s like a muscle, it needs to be told what’s needed, with a small amount of exercise each day, and it responds by growing stronger, and after a week or two, you notice a difference. Suddenly, what seemed impossible becomes easy, and some new challenge seems ‘impossible’…

    See, I have a very deep understanding of all of this, and it is hard for me to remember what it is like for people who have no idea.
    When I read of the Buddha, clenching his teeth, trying desperately to stay focussed, because he knew he had it, a few seconds ago, and now the damn thing has gone again… well, I know precisely what he meant, because I also went through all of that…

    But when you know how, it is easy… doesn’t need any teeth clenching… just that it is subtle… but that’s when seated in proper meditation, I think this standing meditation is different and not so well suited for getting into the deep jhanas where you let go of your body.

    But when you have learned to do that, sitting, it’s just as easy standing or moving about, too.

    #18920

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    What you can do, the meditation, as outlined.

    You freeze everything, like freeze-framing a video, except the breathing from the tanden, where your attention is focussed.

    If you do that, for, I don’t know, half a minute, a minute, however long you can maintain it before you lose it, then you have proven, in theory, that you can exert control over your inner being, by an act of will.

    During that brief time, whatever it is that normally troubles you, anxiety, guilt, anger, regrets, shame, lack of confidence, jealousy, depression, all the feelings that afflict human beings, all the stuff that creates suffering, is, temporarily, absent.

    So, you have an opening, a clear space. It is then up to you to work at expanding and broadening and strengthening that opening, by… well, just by doing it. It’s not some great effort, or huge input of energy, it’s really quite a subtle gentle delicate thing, and the main problem is remembering and doing it…

    Under the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path for the solution to suffering, this would come under Right Concentration, I think, and there are all the other 7, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Thinking, etc. that make a complete package.

    However, I am not a classical buddhist, nor am I trying to teach buddhist meditation or to offer the buddhist answers to this problem (of personal suffering).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path

    We are very complicated beings, very complex organisms, whichever way you look at us, or conceive of what a person is. And, with all the many ways of understanding that are flying around in our culture, there is tremendous confusion. So, what I have tried to do, re this standing meditation, and the ideas I have suggested, is to strip everything down to the simplest possible terms that I can think of, that’ll still be accessible and useful.

    It’s a bit like trying to explain, over the phone, to someone stuck alone in a desert, with a vehicle that’s not running, how they can fix it, when they don’t know anything.

    People will say, why didn’t you mention this, or that. Yes, I know. But what’s the point, if it only adds confusion and complication.

    The main thing is this. People think that there is something to be found, a final state where they become Enlightened, when they find the Grail, and then everything will be sorted and they will have Nirvana or whatever they think of as the opposite of the unsatisfactory condition that they experience, and wish they could change or escape from.

    So, I have shown everyone how they can find this Nirvana. It’s not what you expect ?

    But it is ! Complete freedom from suffering ! Here. Now.

    If you want heavenly bliss, ecstasy, then learn how to gather your chi, and shoot it up your spine, and it’ll explode and you will vanish into brilliant white light and unite with the entire Universe as one. Then you and God, or whatever it is that underlies all that exists, some formless vibrating whatever, merge into vast nothingness beyond description.

    But that gets BORING. Sure. Do it all the time. Every day. Exist in rapture and bliss. I know how. You can learn. But then what ?

    #18923

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    Jack Hunter: Yeah. Well what I mean by taking experience seriously is in Anthropology, anthropologists going out into the field always come up against these, or come across these people who have completely disparate kinds of experiences to what the anthropologist is used to. And anthropologists have traditionally written about these experiences, but in a kind of…dismissive way. So for instance, experiences of spirit-mediumship…they might be mentioned, but they won’t be delved into. It’s not like they want to find out what these experiences actually are. They can see that people do have experiences that are unusual for instance. But they’re not genuinely willing to take that extra step and analyze the experience in itself…kind of taking a deep phenomological approach to experience…that’s something I’m particularly interested in, because when you…come across these strange experiences of mediumship and all the kinds of shamanism and out-of-body experiences and stuff, those experiences seem to suggest something that the dominant worldview of our own culture is…dismissive of and kind-of ignores. So yeah, I think taking those experiences seriously is an important step for Anthropology.

    Alex Tsakiris: It’s a huge step because really when you talk about our culture, you’re talking about science-as-we-know-it. You’re talking about the established scientific paradigm that is pervasive throughout every University, and that [says] we should not take these experiences seriously. Particularly when they go into these areas that you’re talking about that contradict this idea of consciousness being this product of the brain that we can measure very precisely and all the rest of that. I guess what I’m saying is it seems to me Anthropology is open in some ways because, just being progressive in nature, it’s kind of moved away from…that outdated idea that we can all look at, and say “Gee, of course, we have to be more accepting of other cultures.” We’ve seen that throughout history, the whole cultural bias that we can place in terms of saying “The Primitives”…these primitive people, with primitive ideas. And I think Anthropology is a discipline that’s…helped us rise above that and see [in] a more culturally inclusive way that we can’t do that. And I think your work is just a natural extension of that. That’s what I get the sense of, that Anthropology is in…a unique position to be more receptive to jumping the chasm and saying, well, if I’m taking these other experiences of their culture, of their society seriously, well then of course I should consider taking these paranormal experiences seriously. At least from an experiential basis; from the fact they said they’ve had it. Am I wrong there? Is Anthropology maybe in a better position to explore some of [these anomalies], than let’s say neuroscience is, because they’re [not] totally wed to this idea that mind-equals-brain?

    http://www.skeptiko.com/264-jack-hunter-paranthropology-parapsychology

    #19178

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    I can’t speak for other people’s experience, can I, only for my own, and what I have found, for myself.

    I think that if you do zazen, or the standing meditation, or even just pay very close attention, via introspection, in very fine detail, to what occurs in your inner being…

    The recollections of traumatic experiences, of many different kinds, can enter into consciousness, into awareness, as a sort of pang, a sort of unpleasant stab of anguish.

    The idea, in the meditation, is that you just let this happen, without any interference, merely observing. Whereas, in normal life, so to speak, I think people try to push such memories or feelings away, or block them out, or use various mental devices to sort of counteract their existence.

    In the meditation, you try not to be overwhelmed, or caught up, but just watch very closely what happens, like a scientist watching ants, or looking at people in the distance through binoculars. You don’t want to try to understand intellectually, what’s happening, you just watch, like watching kids playing some game that you’ve never seen. Just by watching, sooner or later, you may get that ‘aha !’ moment, as some sort of insight occurs. Perhaps. Or perhaps not. It doesn’t matter. You just watch the painful thought or feeling arise, watch the agony or the dreadful feelings that accompany it, experience the whole thing happening, and then watch as it gradually subsides and passes on, and gradually vanishes again.

    You know, it’s like standing by a railway line, and a train comes, and the noise and wind and rush, can be scary and deafening, and then its over and the quiet returns….

    So, you do this, to get some space, some distance, from the thing, so that you don’t get to be controlled by it, and don’t get forced into some negative response or reaction. Like trying to avoid it by anaesthetizing yourself with a drug or booze or eating for comfort, or punishing yourself with self-harm or some kind, or whatever. You just do nothing. Except observe.

    It’s incredibly hard, if there’s a lot of that stuff. No sooner has one train gone by, there’s another, and another. So it can take a long time, and many failures and repeated attempts, and patient effort. You have to actually want to do it, because you are so pissed off with the status quo that something has to be done. Once you get a bit of success, morale improves, self-esteem builds, it gets easier.

    Anyway, what I found, if you look at the precise parts of the body where the feelings are experienced, and you already know by then, how to keep a silent still mind, you can actually feel, when these old injuries are recalled, the energy flowing away, almost like some sort of ‘spiritual parasite’ sucking the life out of you.

    If you take your attention, by which I really mean chi, to that place, wherever it may happen to be, you can block that drainage, that leak, and stop it, and sort of heal yourself, at that point. You can consciously notice how this has an effect.

    But really you should be circulating chi all around your body all the time, anyway, particularly to any places that it seems it does not want to go.

    Another thing. If you can remember sometime, when you felt really great, when you were fine and noble, then grab that memory, write down the detail, and keep that piece of paper, and use it as an antidote.

    Be splendid and superb and perfect, like the Livingstone’s Turaco, why not ? That’s our true nature, as dignified and honourable beings. It’s not our fault that the world is all fucked up, we didn’t do it. We’re the ones who’d like to fix it, if we could. So, we start, where we are, by fixing ourselves.
    Then, we fix the next person…

    Only if they are fixable, and want to be fixed, of course. They still have to do it all themselves.

    #19179

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    turaco

    #19182

    AmyBe
    Participant

    What I am noticing with myself with the standing meditation is the swaying part can go on for a bit, and not necessarily in a circle or in all directions, but there are times I will be leaning more to the front or back or in a set direction, before finding the center. And with me of course it doesn’t last long, but the more seconds and minutes I gather together throughout the day, it is like a muscle that gets..if not ‘easier’..then more familiar the more I do it.

    The twitches are not just centered in one area now, at the pelvic area, but are in different parts of the body, and yes, it is hard to explain to someone without female anatomy because it does indeed feel like the kickings of an infant in utero..so perhaps with men it would be compared to gas? :p

    I’m not running from emotions, but am not exactly ‘rising above them’ either at this point; it’s more experiencing them and going through them, as it’s still something that it is a part of me and not separate from me. But that’s okay, too.

    Today and right here right now is a good place to Be.

    oh and this: “you can actually feel, when these old injuries are recalled, the energy flowing away, almost like some sort of ‘spiritual parasite’ sucking the life out of you.

    If you take your attention, by which I really mean chi, to that place, wherever it may happen to be, you can block that drainage, that leak, and stop it, and sort of heal yourself, at that point. You can consciously notice how this has an effect.

    But really you should be circulating chi all around your body all the time, anyway, particularly to any places that it seems it does not want to go.”

    There are places I have noticed different energies going to in particular, yes.

    #19183

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    It wouldn’t really matter if you swayed all the time, or if you didn’t sway around at all, it’s just a way to check to feel your sense of balance, and to
    get it exactly right.

    So, with your eyes closed, you look inside yourself, and feel that sense of balance, by shifting it slightly. Doesn’t matter how little you do it or how long, you can keep doing it for fun, if you like it, just so long as you know its there, and what it feels like when its centred.

    Because there should be a slight sense of loss of weight, of weightlessness, when its exactly right.

    And you push your hips forward and back, and your shoulders forward and back and pull your stomach and chest in and out, adjusting everything, head and neck, until its in the exact right place. You can tell its in the right place, because it feels pleasant and comfortable, with everything else.

    You can do all that as little or as much as you want.

    I’m slightly puzzled about your ‘twitching’. I don’t really know what that is. It might just be that your body, your muscles and bones, etc, are not used to being in this particular configuration, and that’s all, and of no particular significance.

    Also, not very comfortable with the idea of ’emotions’. That’s part of the typical western analysis that I’m trying to get away from.

    What I mean by that, just observing the raw feeling, the sensation, as it is, whatever it is, and not classifying it, under a heading, in that sort of way.

    I realise it makes it hard, almost impossible, to write and communicate, without using those terms, we are forced into the classic Western model by the language. But when you are actually doing it, I think it’s important not to let that model divide you up, the idea is, to be making yourself whole, and healed, and a unified being, by drawing mind and body and feelings and everything else you can find and grab, all into one package, of ‘being’.

    So, you get yourself standing balanced and comfortable, you do a few deep in and out breaths, so you are relaxed…

    Then look inside your head, if your mind is busy, then you can still it and stop the thinking machine, by taking attention to the point below the navel, the tanden, and focussing there, and breathing in and out from there.

    You breath right out, from that point, below the navel, whilst watching your mind ‘not have a thought’, then, you breath in, the same, and keep doing that.

    If you get it just right, then time will stop. That’s not exactly correct, if you open your eyes, the hands of a clock still turn, however, something odd happens, the quality of the experience of the passing of time changes, and you can remain absolutely ‘in the now’, with an empty, silent mind, and with no sense of weight or gravity.

    But, as I’ve tried to explain before, probably, before you have that experience, you’ll get distracted by painful or unpleasant memories, etc, so all that stuff has to be sorted out first, or else it keeps interfering.

    I’ve missed out some of the stuff I mentioned before, soles of the feet, etc.
    I don’t see any of what I’ve said as being strict, hard and fast, rules. If you take an interest, then you’ll just do it, discover what seems effective, and explore yourself, yourself.

    Everybody is different, everybody will understand this stuff from different angles. What I’m trying to do, is point people in a direction, where they can find techniques that actually work, that have a feedback, without risking their lives. Then they can work at it themselves, read books or websites, recognise what other folk are doing or trying, and heal themselves, so they are, spiritually, autonomous beings.

    This stuff is very subtle, it’s not like going to a gym to do physical training or anything like that. It’s not like the western medical paradigm of ‘a healthy body and mind’, it’s something quite different.

    You look inside yourself, to find the places which correspond to the chakras.
    I think there’s a problem with the classical Indian yoga-type of lay out, of those. It’s been formalised to fit the dogma. So, don’t bother with it, just use the basic idea, look inside and see what happens when you focus consciousness, attention, breath, in different places, throat, forehead, genitals, between the shoulder blades, etc. keep experimenting and returning to where you began at the tanden.

    Slightly dubious about this, for money ? But worth a read..

    Shamans understand that soul loss is the root of much illness and confusion in our lives. It may be caused by pain or trauma or heartbreak, by wrenching life choices, or by wimping out on our best and bravest dreams. It can reduce us to the condition of the walking dead, passionless and dreary, forever trying to fit in with other people’s needs and expectations, lost to our own deeper purpose.

    Soul retrieval is a shamanic operation in which the practitioner journeys to bring back lost soul-parts and puts them into the client’s body (typically by blowing into one or more of the energy centers, most often the heart or the crown of the head). Soul recovery is a practice in which we help each other to become self-healers and function as our own shamanic practitioners – to gather and integrate our own families of selves and bring wholeness and vital energy into our lives.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/dreamgates/2012/01/the-dream-shamans-road-to-soul-recovery.html

    #19203

    AmyBe
    Participant

    “I realise it makes it hard, almost impossible, to write and communicate, without using those terms, we are forced into the classic Western model by the language. But when you are actually doing it, I think it’s important not to let that model divide you up, the idea is, to be making yourself whole, and healed, and a unified being, by drawing mind and body and feelings and everything else you can find and grab, all into one package, of ‘being’.”

    Yes, the language issue can be a hindrance. Twitching isn’t the right word. I experience it in a better sense than I can explain it, and what I mean by it is a nonphysical something that cannot currently be quantified or put on a chart or anything that I am feeling physically. I won’t go so far as to say whether it is kundalini or chakras or what model fits, so I take what is useful for me and discard the rest, and find that at least it gives me an general idea to use them as a reference or something to help point the way, and am grateful for the tips I am reading here that you have given that help me to do that too.

    #19207

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    Okay, thanks, AmyBe.

    It is difficult stuff to talk about for many reasons, but partly because there are no terms to apply to some of these things.

    My way of viewing it, there are the different maps, mental models, of the territory, so the psychiatrists and psychologists will talk about ‘mind, emotions, and body, or soma’, as in ‘somatic origin’ for something.
    Then there’s the psychoanalytic model, from Freud and Jung, they’ll talk about the Super-ego, the Ego, the Id, etc.
    There’s the Indian yoga model, the chakras, etc, and many others, from many other cultures and traditions.

    So, I’m not really using any of those, although I have learned from many, and may mention them, I am trying to suggest, just have the raw experiences, without any framework or conceptual model, because, all the models are ‘in the head’, they are cerebral, intellectual, to do with thinking, and what is needed, is to get deeper, into the actual organic nervous system, so to speak, because that is where the damage and pain has been recorded, and that is where it has to be found, and healed.

    So, although I am not saying ‘thinking is forbidden !’ – that would be absurd too, we are intelligent, we need to think, – I am saying it is a major obstacle, and it is why those other maps are useless and don’t heal people.

    So, for the duration of meditation, and other periods when trying to heal yourself, it’s best not to be thinking. And anyway, this whole method opens up a vast treasure of all kinds of spiritual stuff.

    However, very few people want to go there. As I’ve said, all along, this is not some pleasure trip, or some frivolous thing. It is possibly, the most demanding and gruelling stuff that it’s possible for a human to get into, so I do not take the responsibility of it all lightly. So, I think it is best to proceed slowly, gently and cautiously.

    I am quite grateful for the stimulation you provided, that provoked me to think about things, from different angles, that I had not considered before.

    Because I have done many years of meditation, and many other practices, it’s very hard for me to recall what it is like, to begin from the novice stage.

    My thinking now, re shamanism and everything else, really, almost everything can be stripped away. All you really need, is the breathing from the tanden part, you pull your belly, below the navel, in, as you expel the breath, and expand it out, as you inhale the breath. And you build up a sort of power there, which is called various technical terms, in taoist alchemy and other models. I think that is the most important, the essential thing, really. Doesn’t need any drumming or drugs or anything else.

    Another thing, we have an electrical field, or some sort of energy field, around us. So you can imagine that, as a sort of invisible ball, an aura, a bubble, that you are in. And because of trauma, fatigue, bad health, diet, all kinds of different things, it tends to contract, and squeeze you into a smaller space. So, you do the Marrow Washing exercises, which are really just intuitive, you can see animals and birds doing them, which pushes that invisible bubble back out, Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, you stretch your arms above your head as high as you can, and to front and rear, and so on.

    Also, you can do the Horse Stance, instead of standing, as if you are seated on a horse, pulling the reins, and breath from the tanden.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_stance

    The result may be, that you can gaze into what might be called ‘ultimate reality’, or ‘raw reality’, that is, as opposed to the description that we are taught, and have that experience with perfect equanimity, unlike all the kids who have to take psychedelics, and then freak out about it. And it just becomes ‘ordinary’, then, you are in a miracle, all the time…

    #19212

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    vitruvian

    #19222

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    Regarding ‘twitching’.

    It’s hard to know, without more details, but it’d possible that it’s related to this.
    If you do the breathing from the tanden, to still the thinking mind, and start off doing it softly, something like stroking a cat, you can also build up chi there, by sort of storing it, with each breath, and the belly expands and becomes very hard, which the Tibetans call Iron Pot, in their mapping. I used to do that, sometimes, years ago, following a Tibetan teaching I found, I’d forgotten, you can probably find it online. And also, the same idea, you visualise a very small ember from a fire, inside your belly at that point, and then with each breath, you blow on it, so it glows and gets hotter.
    That’s the Tibetan Tumo thing, where they heat themselves up and have competitions to see who can melt the most snow with their naked body, that’s also online and on youtube. I tried that too, years ago. It was quite scary, because I began to pour with sweat all over in a few minutes, so I quickly stopped. Both of these are also mentioned, with different descriptions, in the Taoist alchemical mapping, I forget what they call them in the Chinese terminology.

    Although that stuff is very interesting, in a way, I’ve never found it interesting enough to pursue very far. What I do, is gather just enough chi to circulate around my body. There is the guy in Java who can set newspaper alight and bang nails through tables and so forth, and various other people who can perform similar acts, by advanced use, and maybe I’ll get around to that someday, but there’s always so much other stuff to be doing… 🙂

    I don’t think you need those abilities, to heal yourself, or maybe only if you want to heal people who are almost dead. People in martial arts use them, to disable opponents, but again, that’s a specialised application.

    #19225

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    With regard to all the above…

    You can see that this knowledge was known in the Christian tradition, but was contested, for various political reasons, and…. well, it’s a long and complicated story… see here

    In a detailed introduction to my edition of the original Greek text of the Triads, I attempted to describe the circumstances and the chronology of the first encounters between Palamas and Barlaam. 14 Their correspondence began in 1336, as we saw earlier, and was initially concerned with the problem of the “apodictic” or “dialectic” knowledge of God. The logic of the debate soon led Barlaam to criticize the very notion of “spiritual knowledge” affirmed by the monks and to attack with particular virulence their method of
    prayer, which implied the participation of the body in the continuous practice of the Jesus Prayer and, consequently, in the very reality of communion with God. Some of the writings of the Calabrian philosopher used derogatory terms: The monks were “people whose-soul-is-in-their-navel”
    (omphalopsychoi) because, following instructions of authors like Nicephorus the Hesychast, they disciplined their attention by lowering their eyes “towards the center of their bodies” and, thus, concentrated on prayer. Barlaam also affirmed that secular education, or
    -8-
    “acquisition of wisdom”, was a condition for a true knowledge of God.

    https://arcaneknowledgeofthedeep.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/triads.pdf

    #19828

    AmyBe
    Participant

    “However, there is value in understanding the common experience of mistaking experiences in the practice for enlightenment One of these experiences is when a meditator first experiences a very calm concentrated mind. It is said that
    the first three insights a meditator has are: 1) The mind is in a state of
    turmoil; 2) It seems impossible to stop or control this turmoil; 3) It has
    always been this way and we did not know it.

    After these insights have been experienced, it is possible that deep concentration can develop. The mind becomes very clear, powerful and objects
    can be seen vividly. You can look at a tree and see it as you never have before.
    Instead of seeing the tree through a fog of discursive thought, fear and desire for the past and future, you simply see a vivid, beautiful image of a tree. You see subtleties of color, texture and shape in a profound new way. The mind is cool, quiet and peaceful as you have never experienced before.”

    I could relate to that. It never lasts, of course. But nothing lasts, everything is ephermal. And then the chaos returns to my head, but I am seeing improvements anyway, or kid myself I am.

    it continues..

    “This is it! This must be the wonderful indescribable experience of Nirvana!
    Fortunately, this is not Nirvana: Nirvana is even better than this. Sometimes
    people hold on to this concentrated state of mind for the rest of the retreat.
    When they go home, and are confronted with the complexities of real life, this
    clear state of mind will shatter like a pane of glass. The buzzing fog of confusion returns to their minds, and they are quite likely to become upset
    or depressed that peace and clarity have vanished. This clear concentrated
    state of mind is part of the normal evolution of meditation practice. This
    is actually the development of samatha meditation, or pure concentration of mind.

    It is the preliminary to developing true vipassana meditation. As I have mentioned previously, it is necessary to develop concentration before vipassana.
    The recent rediscovery is that it is possible to simultaneously develop both
    samatha and vipassana has resulted in a revival of practice in Theravada Buddhism. However, even when samatha and vipassana are being simultaneously cultivated, samnatha develops first. The word vipassana is sometimes defined
    as seeing things clearly. However, when we get into a study of the derivation
    of this word, the meaning is to see things clearly with great power and penetrating examination.

    Objects can be seen clearly with just samatha, but with the penetrating power
    of vipassana added to samatha, the true nature of objects can be seen clearly.
    When the true nature of objects is seen clearly, they will have the characteristics of change, of being unsatisfactory and of emptiness. These
    characteristics will be seen consecutively, in this order, as the practice evolves. The Progress of Insight In vipassana meditation, the object of meditation is not particularly important. What is important is the way the. objects are perceived. The most common primary objects for vipassana are changing objects such as the breath or the body, especially movement of the body during walking meditation.

    The most common objects for samatha are fixed visual objects such as colored disks mounted on the wall or a candle flame. As samatha develops, objects
    become more vivid, solid and real. Even though the objects of vipassana are
    changing, the first component to develop is samatha. After samathais
    adequately developed; a sudden shift occurs in the practice which is called deep
    insight.

    At this point the practice technically shifts into mahavipassana, and the
    primary impression of objects changes from solid reality to changing discontinuity of objects. It is deep insight that is most commonly mistaken
    for enlightenment. Previously the mind had been focused into a one pointed place. When the mind shifts into the overdrive of mahavipassana, suddenly the
    mind takes on a perception of space, with objects arising and passing within
    space. The mind is flooded with profound insights into the true nature of reality, the laws of karma, and frequently,but not always, there are lights
    and visions which reflect and symbolize these insights. Suddenly, there is a
    deep experiential comprehension of what before had been just philosophical
    understandings of the dhanna.

    The change is so profoundly different and wonderful, that many think, “This
    certainly must be enlightenment.” Although many suspect that they have experienced enlightenment at this point, there are also reasons to suspect
    that this is not enlightenment. Very likely the mind is in a state of revolution
    and turmoil. The mind before had been quiet and peaceful, but now it is flooded
    with innumerable objects that are constantly changing. But after awhile the mind
    again settles down to observing the continuous flow of arising objects.

    As the mind settles down to a strong practice, the suspicion may again arise that enlightenment has been attained. Sometimes the energy and concentration
    are strong enough that meditators can sit for hours without moving. However, there is another shift in the practice as the emphasis abruptly changes to the
    passing of objects from consciousness. The exhilaration of the practice vanishes. Thoughts and images of death, disease and decay are likely to arise.
    The mind is colored with fear, dread and uncertainty. It is difficult to sit
    even an hour, and the mind tends to wander as objects vanish from the mind. After this, the mind and body seem to become a mass of suffering, and the
    meditator is willing to let go of all attainments in the practice, including the
    idea of enlightenment.”

    http://www.buddhistische-gesellschaft-berlin.de/downloads/saints-and-psychopaths.pdf

    I have never thought I have attained enlightenment, though, but some of the things expressed here did strike a chord in me, I will admit, some of the thoughts and sensations..not necessarily any illusion of enlightenment though.

    #19829

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    Thanks, AmyBe.

    The Hindu conception of Enlightenment is different from the Buddhist conception of Enlightenment.

    Also, there are, imo, different ways of understanding what Enlightenment is, or what the word means, or how to approach the concept, amongst Buddhists. (I know more about the Buddhist approach than the Hindu.)

    But what you do, is forget all about Enlightenment. Thinking about it at all is a complete waste of time. You just get on with doing the practice, the meditation.

    I can’t remember what was in that book, I skimmed it, it seemed very dated to me. I don’t have time to re-read it at the moment, I’m reading other stuff.

    It’s worth think of the historical and geographical cultural differences.

    As I understand it, the Vipassana and Samatha division is in the early buddhism and in hindu meditation paths, but when buddhism went to China and met taoism and became cha’an buddhism and then to Japan and became zen buddhism, I don’t think they have that division, they just have ‘zazen’, which includes everything.

    So you just sit and meditate, and you automatically get your insights and everything else, one way or another. And they talk about kensho and satori, as sort of enlightenment experiences that some people have, which can be large or small, gradual or sudden, and so forth.

    But, as I understand it, the recommendation is never to think about any of that, you just concentrate on the practice. Which is always done right here and now, in the moment, and then the results just follow, naturally.

    Vinay Gupta, whom I’ve quoted a lot lately, and from whom I originally stole that book link, hahahaha, claims to be Enlightened and a Psychopath, if I recall correctly.

    I myself, deny being Enlightened, and deny being a Psychopath.

    But having delved into the subject, it turns out that these claims and denials depend upon the definition and the context.

    Mr Gupta was taught in an ancient Ghurka Kappa Likka tradition. Kappa Likka, means you ‘lick caps’, as in skull caps, as in eating your food out of a bowl made from a human cranium. That’s so that you are constantly reminded of death, and that you yourself will die, and that there is no time to fuck about with trivia, you must focus all your effort on becoming Enlightened.

    But that definition of ‘Enlightened’ is, technically, slightly different, to the Buddha’s definition.

    This is his tradition.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorakshanath

    In the tradition that I learned, from my personal understanding, it is a mistake EVER to claim to be enlightened. That’s because, everything that exists, exists only in this particular moment.

    So, are you, or am I, enlightened,in this particular moment ? Yes, or no ?

    To say ‘yes’ is to have made everything fixed and rigid and to have killed off all possible choice. It’s hopeless. It’s a dead buddha. It’s all the stinking self-righteous sanctimonious pompous ‘holy’ people who think they are better than everyone else.

    To say ‘no’…. well, how can I NOT be enlightened ? I was enlightened before I was born, the whole Universe is enlightened, everything, am I going to set myself apart, as some sort of ‘mistake’, and make it ‘wrong’ ? That’s quite hard to do, really…. well, you can try it, and see 🙂

    So, which is it ? Enlightened or not ? Well, I think both, and neither, and I enjoy dancing with the devil 🙂

    See, imo, Lem from Motorhead has made more people happy and shown more social responsibility than the fucking archbishops we’ve had, who have connived with the politicians with their wars, and their repression of the poor, and the paedophile rings, and all that filth. Because they love their power and status and wealth, they are filthy hypocrites, the very kind of people who Jesus was against.

    #19916

    AmyBe
    Participant

    I have found a site that has given me a lot of food for thought, and I found pretty interesting, and thought it might be appropriate to share here. I wasn’t sure exactly where to share it, in this thread, or the cosmos one, or the one I started, but in the end, decided to put it here.

    Mysticism is a discipline involved with knowledge and techniques which are of value in assisting the individual toward spiritual growth. It is a very pragmatic discipline, concerned with direct experience, or awareness of spiritual truth, of ultimate reality, etc., which can be attained through immediate intuition, insight, or illumination. Mystical methodology is not based on external experimentation, but internal observation. According to Lama Anagarika Govinda, “The mystic anatomy and physiology … is not founded on the ‘object-isolating’ investigations of science, but on subjective — though not less unprejudiced — observations of inner processes, i.e., not on the dissection of dead bodies or on the external observation of the functions of human and animal organisms, but on the self-observation and on the direct experience of processes and sensations within one’s body.”(5) Mysticism regards intellectual knowledge as an aid to the direct experience of ultimate “truths”, but not as an end in itself. This can be contrasted with modern science which is primarily an intellectual process, quite suspicious and skeptical of direct knowledge through experience.

    and later on..

    The “dark matter” of interest to this paper can be defined as matter which is void of charged particles and therefore cannot be seen with our normal vision and can interpenetrate with visible matter. For example, if the universe contained “atoms” which were held together by a “force” other than the electromagnetic force, these “atoms” would not be visible to our normal vision and could interpenetrate with visible atoms. Recalling what we know of the mystical properties of subtle bodies and subtle matter, the subtle bodies capable of interpenetrating our visible body must be composed of various forms of uncharged “dark matter”, if they physically exist (have mass). Interpenetration with visible matter is a property of “dark matter” which is void of charged particles. What the mystics were describing was a type of “dark matter” long before scientists discovered “dark matter”. How could they have known that such a matter could exist? In our everyday life we are unaware of the existence of these subtle bodies, but the true mystics have developed techniques which makes it possible for them to experience the universe from the perspective of their subtle bodies. In so doing they can look out upon the universe and observe the “dark matter” with their “dark matter” subtle body vision. Long before “dark matter” was discovered, C.W. Leadbeater said “All these varieties of finer matter exist not only in the world without, but they exist in man also. He has not only the physical body which we see, but he has within him what we may describe as bodies appropriate to these various planes of nature, and consisting in each case of their matter.”(12) Through our visible body we are able to experience the visible world, and through the different unique types of subtle matter of which we consist, man can experience the corresponding outer world when he becomes conscious of that respective subtl e body. Again, Leadbeater says “The soul of man has not one body but many bodies, for when he is suffici ently evolved he is able to express himself on all these different levels of nature, and he is therefore provided with a suitable vehicle of matter belonging to each, and it is through these various vehicles that he is able to receive impressions from the world to which they correspond.”(13) To the mystic who has acquired awareness of his subtle bodies, “dark matter” is not dark.

    I also found this in particular to resonate with me..

    It would appear then that consciousness on the subjective level equates to matter and the time-space associated with it on the objective level. One cannot say which causes which, or which is more fundamental, and, therefore, ultimately, consciousness and matter are the same thing.

    This suggests that the physics of subtle “dark matter” is incomparable. This would suggest a universe composed of various “unique” types of matter with unique properties, a unique force to interact with, and a unique sense of time-space. These various types of “dark matter” which make up the various kosas, may have to be named “pranic” matter, “mano” matter, “vijnana” matter, etc. We can further state that each unique type of “dark matter” can strongly interact with its own type in a way analogous to how visible matter interacts with visible matter. Each type of “dark matter” can generate its own unique form of energy, in a manner perhaps analogous to how charge generates electromagnetic energy. Long range interactions can then occur between corresponding forms of subtle “dark matter”. This is not readily visible or detectable by electromagnetic seeking devices (including our eyes), but could be observed when one experience one’s corresponding subtle body and sees the world through it.

    The existence of the subtle bodies and chakras provides a strong theoretical basis for the explanation of numerous phenomena, such as qi (ki, prana), out of body experiences, near death experiences, clairvoyance, energy healing through touch and prayer, reincarnation, and other related phenomena. And exploration of these phenomena provide very convincing evidence for the existence of subtle bodies, and that the universe includes enormously more than comes within the range of ordinary vision and present day science

    I plan on reading more from this site, as well, along with part II of this paper.

    http://www.esolibris.com/articles/science_spirituality/dark_matter_01.php

    #19918

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    Thanks.

    I found this bit interesting..

    The concept of a subtle energy, or qi, appears to be universal. It is regarded as the primordial life force itself, and is given different names by different cultures (qi in China, prana in India, ankh in Ancient Egypt, arunquiltha by the Australian Aborigine, mana in Polynesia, pneuma in Ancient Greece, tane in Hawaii, orenda by the Iroquois, ki in Japan, etc.).

    In the west, one finds “many published reports of experiments in which persons were able to influence a variety of cellular and other biological systems through mental means. The target for these investigations have included bacteria, yeast, fungi, mobile algae, plants, protozoa, larvae, insects, chicks, mice, rats, gerbils, cats, dogs, and well as cellular preparations (blood cells, neurons, cancer cells) and enzyme activities. In human ‘target persons,’ eye movements, muscular movements, electrodermal activity, plethysmographic activity, respiration and brain rhythms have been affected through direct mental influence.”(19) However, western science can’t precisely say what subtle energies are, can’t specify the mechanism of subtle energies, can’t credit a given therapeutic result to subtle energies with certainty, and can’t say who is a legitimate subtle energy practitioner.

    because I had not heard of the Egyptian, Australian and Iroquouis versions before.

    However, I don’t like the idea of trying to drag the physicists ‘Dark Matter’ into mysticism (they also have Dark Energy, he doesn’t mention) which seems completely pointless, trying to explain one unknown mystery with another unknown mystery gets nowhere.

    As far as I know, the whole Dark Matter thing is just bullshit, that the physicists were forced to come up with, to get their sums to add up, for their model of the cosmos to work. Otherwise, the numbers don’t add up.

    So, they invented Dark Matter, to explain where 90% of the missing stuff was.

    Those people do that sort of thing ALL THE TIME. They are all bullshitters, and although they claim to be scientists, the problem is that it is not really science, if the hypotheses cannot be tested, and much of what they do is just juggling numbers on blackboards and coming up with wacky ideas that they can laugh about with their buddies over a few beers.

    Their university PR departments put out press releases every fucking week, saying that ‘scientists have found that the Universe is twice as old as thought’ or twice as big, or twice as fucking infinite, or whatever, and try to grab some headlines and good publicity for their particular department, so they can get more funding. The next week, some rival team will say the opposite. It’s ALL bullshit.

    There are a few serious, thoughtful astro-physicists who are worth listening to, but most of them should be thrown out of their jobs and told to do it as a hobby in their spare time, do something more worthwhile that we actually need doing, like fixing holes in roads or feeding hungry children.

    #19922

    AmyBe
    Participant

    I agree about “dark matter” being used as a “catch-all” phrase. Just like the ancient Greeks in their temple that had the pantheon of their deities would leave aside an area and a pedestal with nothing on it for the “Unknown God” just to make sure they didn’t offend anyone accidentally, probably..

    Also, an update on the body sensations I was originally calling “twitching”. I now realize it is more of a ‘rolling’ sensation, and perhaps if others feel it like that it might be where the original idea of kundalini being like that of a snake comes from? It’s just speculation for me, but I do know this,that this feeling is one I have never had before, it comes and goes, and for me even when it’s on the back it still is reminscent of when I was in my second and third trimesters of pregnancy, to the point to where I could feel the baby in my womb developing inside me kicking and moving.

    I don’t think there is anything physical I am doing or not doing that is causing this physical sensation, though. And I don’t know what label would fit for it. But when I just feel it, and examine it as a sensation/feeling, it it does feel like it is something THERE and it is ‘rolling’ around inside of me. I am not bothering to figure out what it means, but I do admit that sometimes it makes me grin and cry at the same time.

    When I do the breathing, and think of the way it has been described as “blowing on a coal” and kind of picture that but not getting very ‘hot’ but simply allowing myself to blow on it a bit and feel it get warm, and when I am feeling these rolling sensations..if was to get lyrical and wax poetic about it, I would say it is like a membrane/bubble/permeable force/life/whatever that doesn’t fit it either..I would say that it is all the verification and validation I need for myself..to know that this doesn’t have to be physical or documented by science to be as real as I am, and that I do have and am more than my physical body.

    and then I think of where I want that energy to go and what good it can do if it’s not in my belly getting something warm, lol…and so have been seeing if it does any good to send blessings that way. Or even keep it inside of me and find a place for it, too..but wait..it’s already there. 🙂

    #19926

    AmyBe
    Participant

    Since I have put the link and quotes from part I here on this thread, I guess I need to put comments/quotes to part II here as well, but the odd thing is, I almost feel it would fit better on the thread I started in a way, because the parts I am going to be quoting from are not necessarily something that would interest you in your endeavors and research, but that I personally have found helpful as this is my own area of interest/purusit. Be that as it may, here are the parts I have taken and put into my own ‘crazy quilt/tapestry’ of what I find useful and applicable:

    There is considerable scientific evidence for the healing power of prayer and its effectiveness in medicine, as shown by Dr. Larry Dossey. However, Dossey also points out that “We simply don’t know how the mind of one person can engage in ‘action at a distance’ to bring about the healthful changes…”. Conventional forms of energy are an insufficient explanation for what we observe in spiritual healing experiments. In them the ‘energy’ does not fade away with increasing distance, and it cannot be shielded, as we would expect if ordinary forms of energy were involved.”(23) Clearly “dark matter” and subtle body theory could present a simple explanation since “dark matter” not composed of charged particles is essentially unaffected by visible matter. Energy in the form of thought could be transmitted by the mano-maya-kosa of one person and received by the mano-maya-kosa of another person. This mental body is capable of transmitting thoughts from one mental body to another. Normally we are not aware of these thoughts, but if one is conscious of the mano-maya-kosa, one can perceive these thoughts. As C.W. Leadbeater puts it, “In man’s physical body there is etheric matter as well as solid matter which is visible to us … and this etheric matter is readily visible to the clairvoyant. In the same way a more highly developed clairvoyant, who is capable of perceiving the more refined astral matter, sees the man represented at that level by a mass of that matter, which is in reality his body or vehicle as regards that plane; and exactly the same thing is true with regard to the mental plane in its turn. … Every time that we think, we set in motion the mental matter within us, and a thought is clearly visible to a clairvoyant as a vibration in the matter, set up first of all within the man, and then affecting matter of the same degree of density in the world around him. But before this thought can be effective on the physical [visible] plane it has to be transferred from that mental matter into astral matter; and when it has excited similar vibrations in that, the astral matter in its turn affects the etheric matter, creating sympathetic vibrations in it; and that in turn acts upon the denser physical matter, the gray matter of the brain.”(24) The energy transmitted on this level of fine matter would not only be unaffected by visible matter, but the space-time relationships associated with the matter of the mano-maya-kosa are so different, that our normal sense of distance would be irrelevant. These thoughts (energy) received by the mano-maya-kosa could in turn effect the gray matter of the brain or organs and stimulate action on the psychoneuroendocrine pathway or the psychoneuro-immunological pathways. Psychic energy can enter through the chakras as well. This type of model elegantly accounts for nonlocal spiritual and psychic healing.

    that was under the topic of prayer. It goes on to talk about NDE/OBO experiences, reincarnation, and what happens after death:

    The knowledge of the subtle bodies makes an existence after death comprehensible. The subtle body doctrine provides a vehicle (the soul) for our existence after the death of our visible body. It makes it easy to believe and understand, and is consistent with human experiences.

    this is what is said about ‘after death’:

    It may seem difficult to believe that knowledge of after death could be obtained, but if we have a physical soul composed of a very fine form of “dark matter”, then it becomes more possible to accept that some knowledge of after death could be acquired. The after death events appear to be very similar to near-death experiences. Discussions of the experiences which take place after death can be found in such books as Rudolf Steiner’s Life Between Death and Rebirth, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, and Sogyal Rinpoche’s book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Although there appear to be differences in the specifics of the after death happenings, one must remember that the experiences of these states have a very different time-space relationship associated with them and far beyond our ability to comprehend from our present state of consciousness. Symbolic and representational art are therefore utilized to convey these after death events, as is some iconographical art of Tibetan Buddhism and shamanism.

    The death experience has been examined physically as well. Over the years, various researchers have attempted to show a loss of weight of the human body upon death. The most explicit research of this phenomena occurred at the Technical University of Berlin which reported that after weighing over 200 terminally ill patients just before and immediately after death, there was a weight loss of 1/3,000th of an ounce.(26)

    there are so many things I want to say/post right now, but I think it best I just ponder it for a while still, think on the meaning of the soul.

    f humankind was indeed composed of subtle bodies made up of different types of subtle “dark matter”, and if we were capable of “shifting” our consciousness to these other subtle bodies, then we would indeed experience the world of that type of matter, much like mysticism states.

    This type of subtle matter would fall into the broad category of “dark matter” because it would not be visible to our ordinary vision, but could produce gravitational effects. We could be immersed in it and would not know it. It seems, therefore, that we cannot rule out the physical description of the universe which the mystics provide. As evidence for the existence of such subtle “dark matter”, we need only look at the growing scientific evidence for phenomena such as qi or prana, the power of prayer, psychic phenomena such as clairvoyance and other paranormal phenomena, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, reincarnation, etc.

    The subtle body doctrine of mysticism has passed the test of time, being a part of our most ancient to modern cultures, throughout the world. It provides an excellent foundation for the explanation of numerous phenomena (as included in this article) so that even without a physical basis it is a valuable system well worth exploring and utilizing. Its success in mystical traditions and the scientific verification of much of the phenomena mentioned here are sufficient to warrant subtle body theory as a valuable doctrine. Truly, it needs no further proof. However, the recent scientific concept of “dark matter” provides a new understanding of what the mystics refer to as subtle matter and so the possibility for a connection between mysticism and western science is quite real and could be of great benefit.

    This would suggest that we have a soul, and it is physical, even though it is a very fine form of physical “dark matter”. But we must be aware that intellectual understanding of this doctrine will not enlighten mankind; we must obtain an experiential awareness of the subtle bodies in order to truly benefit from these teachings. In so doing, we will be able to live our lives from a deeper understanding of the nature of man and of our position in the universe. We will better understand the repercussions of our actions and decisions, on a personal level, a social level, and a global level.

    Science seems to be in a perpetual state of believing it has the truth, despite its history of conceptual revolutions. This failure to accept the idea of “mysterium” is surprising, because there will always be a great mystery out there waiting to be discovered. The Universe is not so small, nor so comprehensible as to lend itself to total analysis by a logical science. This does not diminish the value of science, but simply places it in an appropriate perspective. Science provides one type of insight into the workings of the universe, but not the only insight. The Arts certainly provide another experiential route to knowledge, and mysticism provides yet another. Perhaps this overlap between science, art and mysticism will help us to understand our role in the universe, and to appreciate the universe as the extraordinary multifaceted phenomena it is. If we can equate the subtle bodies and subtle energies with the concept of “dark matter” this will give us a conceptual basis from which to work.

    http://www.esolibris.com/articles/science_spirituality/dark_matter_02.php

    #19929

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    I think Dark Matter is bollocks.

    It’s a hypothesis.

    When I talk about chi, etc, the ‘scientists’ will attack me, for woo woo.

    But Dark Matter is worse ! There’s evidence for chi, because hundreds of thousands of people will say this is what they know and experience.

    Where is the evidence for Dark Matter ? They just MADE IT UP ! It’s an imaginary concept to try and make their model work, because otherwise their model of the Universe doesn’t work. And they do not want to accept that their model could be WRONG ! So they make up some crap, and INVENT stuff that isn’t there !

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

    #19932

    AmyBe
    Participant

    they call it dark matter to make it sound more scientific..but what I liked about the article is how it used other belief systems as a backdrop in trying to explain it, and was able to glean some from that. But yes, as has been said many times, “a rose by any other name…” but you are right, sometimes a label is all it is..

    me? I call it love, and call it a day, but I do my best when I get really simple like that sometimes.

    #19933

    ulvfugl
    Keymaster

    I’m not aiming criticism at you, Amy.

    I’m saying that…

    If we can equate the subtle bodies and subtle energies with the concept of “dark matter” this will give us a conceptual basis from which to work.

    is a waste of time, because the physicist’s Dark Matter is NOTHING, there’s nothing there that can help to explain anything, because all the astro-physicists have is an imagined possible speculative hypothesis, that is hand waving, and trying to explain subtle energy, which is itself deeply mysterious, some unknown, by appealing or referring to some OTHER unknown simply does not help at all.

    There is a basic and fundamental problem, which is that western physics, chemistry, biology and medicine, all derive from the Cartesian scientific paradigm, which specifically excludes everything mystical, spiritual,non-material, in a division that they made ‘natural v. super-natural’.

    So, that is PHILOSOPHY.

    Before any progress can be made, either by the mystical wing, or the scientific wing, they need to understand that problem, and take a new line of approach.

    Everybody is stuck, at the moment, because of quantum physics.

    That model, where they try to make the numbers work by inventing imaginary Dark Matter, etc, derives from Newtonian billiard ball clockwork universe thinking, pre-Einstein and pre-Quantum physics.

    Really, someone needs to start all over again, taking into account CONSCIOUSNESS of the observer, that can somehow account for that weirdness, and incorporate all the quantum entanglement and non-locality stuff.

    As far as I know, nobody so far has been smart enough to do that.

    Most of the comments that one reads on websites and forums and blogs concerning this area, are simply moronic. People are not well-educated to a high level, and are clueless. Not that I can help, because I have no idea how to resolve the problem, it is staggeringly difficult.

    #19934

    AmyBe
    Participant

    okay, I gotcha, and didn’t feel it aimed at me, it is like these artificial barriers and constructs laid out by the religious and scientific paradigms have people still trying to bend over backwards and somehow make it fit reality….but it doesn’t. Reality isn’t something that is so limited.

    Personally, I’m learning to unlearn and then look at everything like I have a plate and I’m at a buffet line. However, if I’m not going to get indigestion, the advice you have gave to me to look at things more from a critical and “devil’s advocate” perspective too is practical, and while right now I can “take what I need and leave the rest” most of the time, developing a way to disagree with someone, or the position that is presented, and state the argument against it and why in a mature manner without getting personally all emotional inside and attached to “winning the argument”, so to speak, is something for me to practice more.

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