Thursday, August 3, 2017
Another major character in our intellectual history is great modern philosopher Nietzsche. His Thus Spoke Zarathustra spoke the language of a person in a deep meditative state in which the meditator’s conscious mind is functioning, co-existing with his Unconscious mind. It was functioning well in the case of Nietzche. Nietzsche faced dilemma similar to Jung. Like Jung he did not want to suppress or deny the meaning of his inner experience, he rationalized it with the reason that the obscurity of his language is to safeguard his great teaching from the people who do not deserve to have such great teaching revealed to them! His Will to power is his morality in direct opposition to Christianity (unlike Jung, Nietzsche's writings are quite muddled and therefore inaccessible to common readers. A good source to understand Nietzsche is Bernard Reginster's The Affirmation of Life - Nietzsche on overcoming nihilism). Yet, he refrained from setting rules of morality, otherwise he will be viewed as a spiritual leader rather than a philosophy, though I suspect that there will be folks who would consider Nietzsche a spiritual leader.
What has that got to do with meditation? You might ask.
For meditators or chi king practitioners who have come to a stage in which he can speedily get into a whole body chi-filled condition when he relaxes, he might encounter similar direct experience. When he falls asleep, since he is relaxed, his body will still be chi-filled. And in deep meditation, since he is relaxed, his body will be chi-filled too. And since his body is in chi-filled state, his conscious mind will still be working, to a certain extent. And the fact that he is asleep or into deep meditation his Unconscious mind will surface. In short, both his conscious and Unconscious mind will be working at the same time! The resulting experience is an interaction between his conscious (rational) and Unconscious (irrational) mind. And from there came Seven Sermons to the Dead and Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
On the experiential perspective, it is called vivid dream. Vivid dreams are rich in details and as Jung (and Nietzsche too, without himself being explicit about it) experienced, one’s conscious mind is at work. And at work in such a way that our conscious mind can ask logical questions and explore problems; and in a way that one can sometimes even know that one is dreaming (in Jung's case, knowing he was in the realm of his own Unconscious)! At the same time, our Unconscious mind will exert its impact by trying to “convince” our conscious mind to “accept” conclusion loosely “answered” by images and illogical events. In short, vivid dreams are enlightening but often giving us images or "not-totally-logical" arguments instead of definite answers to our problems. Needless to say only great mind can produce great insights. Common meditators can benefit from such inner experience with some insights and reflections. Pompous people might have the danger of getting themselves into a state of over-confidence. Superstitious people might become more superstitious. And those with inherent mental problems might have a psychotic onset!
Saturday, May 13, 2017
A woman with love a woman in need.
With whom old mom share her forgotten dreams?
The life she lived were the things she has seen.
How many high mounts climbed and wild grass trimmed?
Understand mom a tough lesson to teach,
She knows you more than your reflection brood'd,
Time to listen is the time to reach,
Caring her a challenge in trust you bragg'd.
Images of your young follies make her sheen,
Stories of your now success let her rest,
Time shall come when the hour stops unforeseen,
Precious moments not too soon, too late lest:
If these carved in mind and we start to give,
Our heart forever she will choose to live.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Chi is powerful energy. When it is trapped in certain parts of our body, it will try to "reach out" and to "neutralize" itself. The target of reaching out is another chi (or excited) point. In the most generalized situation, it will try to reach out to our stretched hands (and fingers). For seasoned practitioners it will also reach out to their feet and stretched toes. For the most seasoned practitioners, it will reach out to any internal points energized by the practitioners themselves through subtle body adjustment, breathing and mental focusing. These internal points are essential for training. In tai chi chi-kung, these are our joints (that's why tai chi classics says: opening our nine joints), plus our Dantian. In meditation, they are our chakras. In microcosmic circulation, it is our spine.
Now for practitioners who are progressing along their learning path (which incidentally include the most seasoned practitioners), there will be cases, during chi movement, when such chi is blocked in certain parts of our body. With a path is blocked with chi still coming along the way, chi will be highly concentrated in one point (or small area), making the practitioner feel very uncomfortable. It can be quite scary when one experiences it the first time. This is the negative aspect of chi kung side effect. Some students will drop out when they encounter this.
Luckily there is a positive side. Trapped chi is really a challenge to a practitioner who aims high. With or without the help of his teacher, a courageous student/practitioner will try out methods (subtle movements and mental focusing) advised by his teacher. However such teacher-suggested solution is likely to be inadequate because a teacher does not share his student's same internal sensation (a good teacher of course can infer and deduce through observation and touching), and without feedback to any progress (with such progress being difficult to verbalize). Only with good feedback can a student further fine-tunes his solution accordingly. Therefore, in addition to his teacher's advice, a student will also need to try to improvise, and by trial and error, divert chi through the path that has been blocked, say frontal attack to clear the blockage or gently move chi sideways to bypass the blockage and soften it in the process.
His improvisation and trial and error methods, using his own body as his experimental subject, a student will be able to make big progress in his practice - both opening (or softening) the blockage and in the process understand his own body better. Courage and dedication to his art is essential. And only through such experience (which can be many, and will be getting more and more controllable/manageable), can a practitioner progresses to the highest level and become a true master of the art himself. Chi kung is a sophisticated and complex internal discipline. Only masters who have gone through such experiences (and benefited from them) who are qualified to teach.
The above comes from my own experience: learning and teaching.
(edited on 13 Dec 16)
Monday, August 22, 2016
For certain special people, it comes naturally with vivid dreams or vivid imagery during their waking lives. For most people, such vivid dreams (or vivid imagery during meditation) comes from learned experience of deep meditation. The images (or experience) are always vivid. The person seemingly have logical thinking during such experience, so much so, the person sometimes can logically argue (and therefore convinced) that they are not in the waking stage but is in a different zone (whether it is vivid dream ("I am dreaming') or "out-of-body" experience ("my soul is traveling in different time/space") depends on the belief system of the person). Oftentimes, images can be remembered vividly after waken up. Some experience can be so vivid that details can be richer than what can be found in reality (for example, the image or personality of a friend can be in more details when compared with real life experience). Such experience sometimes can be proved to be that it can help to solve everyday logical problems (not too surprising though, when people without such experience sometimes claim that after a good night sleep, difficult problems have been solved).
It is interesting to note that religiously minded meditators sometimes believe that such inner experience is more important (and sacred) than everyday experience. Not too surprisingly though, since when a devoted meditator meditates daily in secluded places, nothing interesting really happens around him. His vivid dreams draw rich and interesting resources from his past experience, including both conscious and unconscious, the latter including that, for whatever reasons, has been suppressed from his conscious thoughts.
As I said in the beginning, chi-kung and meditation practitioners can have such experience as a by-product. And as by-product goes, it should not be a major training objective of one's training. For me, it serves the purpose of an interesting psychological construct which can help me understanding myself better, in particular any suppressed unconscious thoughts that may surface to my consciousness during my vivid dreams. If a practitioner takes it light-heartedly, he will not become superstitious.