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#89196 - 02/08/05 02:31 PM Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've heard it said that, this ancient text, which is mostly about the philosophical tenets of taoism, contains subtle references to chi cultivation exercises and breathing practices....

I'd love to hear anybody else's opinion on what hidden kernel's of knowledge this may have...

for example, chapter 10, appears to include a reference to neo-natal (or the taoist breathing practice which is used in martial applications of chi)

the reason i ask is i had heard that things such as the ruler, the gates of heaven, and the ruler's kingdom were all external analogies that referred to anatomical parts in the body or perhaps chi meridians....i'd love to know more....

I dont speak chinese and only have translations to work from..i've included a link to the text in english if anyone is curious....

I considered the tao te ching a masterpiece simply for its philosophical tenets, but it would be truly amazing if there was yet another whole level of meaning to be gleaned from it...
http://www.truetao.org/laotzu/taote/

thanks,
Ed

PS: mr. butterfly palm sir, i'd love to hear a comment or two from you...

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 02-08-2005).]

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#89197 - 02/08/05 04:09 PM Re: Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


it has been my exsperience that the text is used more as a supplimental study to help clarify teachers sometimes esoteric statements. i still find things that my teacher has said or he says somthing that i have read in the toa te ching

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#89198 - 02/09/05 06:08 AM Re: Tao Te Ching
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
Hi MrEd, I think I need to read my copy of the Tao Te Ching (for something like the fifth or sixth time) before I come back and comment.
If I find something like you're suggesting, it will be new to me.
It wouldn't be the first time, however, that I find something in that book, that I can swear wasn't there last time I looked )

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#89199 - 02/10/05 01:30 PM Re: Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


(*bump*)

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#89200 - 02/12/05 10:45 AM Re: Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello MrEd

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#89201 - 02/14/05 07:45 PM Re: Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello MrEd.

Just got back from the Chinese New Year Holidays.

Trust you to come up with another big question and also a very old one, about 2500 years old; the book or rather an almost playful manual to answer the same old question -- 'what is the meaning of life?'.

For the last 2500 years people have found answers in that book for almost any question you care to ask,(it has 80 odd chapters I think) and martial artists were no exception.

It all depends on the level of maturity of the reader. Even if you read chinese, it doesn't help much as it is written in the archaic language of 2500 years ago. The words may appear the same, but the meaning and even the pronunciation attached to them may have been differently understood and sounded. And to read it in translated form? by translators 2500 years later and who may not have done any IMA?

Legend has it that even Confucius himself, a contemporary, consulted the author on some points.

And the author is such a mysterious person that almost nothing concrete is known, except that according to legend, his mother conceived him when she saw a falling star. UFOists may even conclude that his mother was an Alien abductee and experimented on, as he was supposed to have been in his mother's womb for years before being born, as an adult! -- a test-tube baby?

I need to catch up with some work right now and will come back soonest, and give my 2 cents worth.

Meanwhile how is your practice coming along?

[This message has been edited by ButterflyPalm (edited 02-14-2005).]

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#89202 - 02/15/05 02:37 PM Re: Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


I heard that too, and I went back to read it again in a qigong context.

My teacher, Dr Yang, Jwing-Ming describes the Tao Te Ching (The book of the Way and its Virtue) as a book of universal truths, and within many chapters, some of the writing pertains both to philosophy and to Qigong.

He quotes the book in his most recent qigong book 'Qigong Meditation'. It has motivated me to trace back the roots of qigong, Taoism, and the history of Buddhism's spread from India to China and the rest of the world.

I've read several different translations of the Tao Te Ching (including one by Alistair Crowley!), and I think you might be right: Lao Tzu was very likely a multi-dimentional being (but probably not an 'alien').

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#89203 - 02/15/05 04:41 PM Re: Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi Butterfly Palm,

Interesting theories...I have to agree with your maturity point..i started reading the book when i was 16, and in the 10 years that have passed have gleaned new meaning each time, especially when i previously thought i understood!

as for the training, that is not faring quite so well, i have taken a sabbatical from it. While I love my teachers, the classes are structured so that all can learn (which includes out of shape people such as myself). After watching their movements carefully, I realized until i got into better shape i couldn't really concentrate or imitate them properly. I've spent this winter lifting and increasing my muscle mass, including tendons and connective tissues and have just started the stamina part of my program which includes distance running. If all goes well, I hope to feel light enough on my feet to begin practicing MA again in late summer.

As for as chi and meditative practice goes, i'm at a plateau, and need to dedicate additional time to practice to make any additional strides. on the bright side, i havent lost any of what i learned to do.

The only odd thing is occasionally throughout the day i'll find certain parts of my body feeling exceptionally warm or tingling. This unfortunately is probably due to the fact i undertook the qigong journey but due to my recent focus on external changes, I have not practiced qigong as regularly as i had previously, although lately i've been getting back into the exercise you gave me.

How are you? How is your training coming?

Regards,
Ed

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#89204 - 02/21/05 09:53 PM Re: Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello MrEd.

Reaching a 'plateau?'

Yeah, that's the trouble with the IMA. That's why so few people ever reached high levels of proficiency. At a certain stage, you need to do twice as much to go half as far, unlike in the beginning stages where every new sensation is a new adventure. You need to make 'break-throughs' every now and then to keep yourself interested; which is why whenever I meet new entrants to the IMA family, I say to them, it takes a person of a certain character and temperament to go far in the IMA. I thought that the "little" exercise I gave will provide a minor break-through that you needed. Practice my friend, practice.

I am still giving some serious thoughts to the Tao Te Ching's (TTC)connection to the IMA. There was certainly this connection. In fact, people like Chang San Feng (if he existed) was supposed to have used the ideas found in Taoism together with the Yi Ching as a basis to formulate Tai Chi Chuan. The big question you are interested in is which part of the TTC he used. What we have to realise is that the idea of the TAO did not start with TTC. Lao Tze was articulating ideas which were already then part of the general cosmology of the time. The problem was of course he did not write the TTC with the IMA in mind. At that time, there probably was no such thing as the IMA.

I'll come back fully on this when my thoughts are more ordered. Meanwhile below is a poem I wrote on 27th June 1975 which if read by a non-IMA practitioner will be quite meaningless; but if read by a practitioner of IMA for some years? Well......


"The Moving Breath

Stand still, stand straight,
Stand firm, stand soft,
Stand tall, stand small.

Sink and rise,
Your breath in time,
Close your eyes, close your mind.

Move slow, move slow,
Move head, move toe,
Move waist, move whole.

Left to right, right to left,
Sway your body, sway the whole,
Open your elbows, open your soul.

Look where you go,
Go where you look,
Keep your shoulders soft,
Soft and slow.

Think of that,
Which is bad,
Think again,
You'll go mad.

Think of this,
Soft as mist,
Think hard,
You'll never start.

Think neither this nor that,
Think not of thinking,
Think not, nothing to think.

The fingers tingle,
The tingle rise,
The tingle move.

It moves on skin,
Your centre spin,
It moves around,
It sinks to the ground.

It speaks of knowledge,
Yet untold,
But a few have known,
Ages ago.

Some believe, some believe not,
They shall be told,
And told oft,
It's the Way of the gods"


Now you see the problem with the TTC and IMA. Try to formulate a chi gung exercise with that poem.

Got to do some work, will come back soon.




[This message has been edited by ButterflyPalm (edited 02-27-2005).]

[This message has been edited by ButterflyPalm (edited 02-27-2005).]

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#89205 - 02/22/05 12:39 PM Re: Tao Te Ching
Anonymous
Unregistered


I see your point. For disucssion's sake, i went ahead and attempted to formulate an exercise. My interpretation of your poem follows in bold italics.... [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]


"The Moving Breathe

Stand still, stand straight,
Stand firm, stand soft,
Stand tall, stand small.

Begin by calmly allowing yourself to stand and relax. There is a dichotomy between opposite ends. You shouldn't strive to stand up too straight, or worry if your back isn't straight enough, but rather do what is natural, allowing the spine to adopt its natural curve.


Sink and rise,
Your breathe in time,
Close your eyes, close your mind.
as you relax in a standing position, become aware of your breathing of your abdomen and breath as they rise and fall with your diaphgram. You can close your eyes if it helps with concentration

Move slow, move slow,
Move head, move toe,
Move waist, move whole.
these movements refer to the internal visualization and direction of chi, perhaps in phases. The first phase is simply being able to direct chi, and can only be accomplished by not rushing, and patiently concentrating. Next, comes the ability to move chi through the conception vessel and along the circuit that circles the body front to back. Finally, all the chi moves as one consistent entity within the body. These are the phases and goals of the exercise

Left to right, right to left,
Sway your body, sway the whole,
Open your elbows, open your soul.
practice moving chi bidirectionally. as you attempt the later phases where the chi flows more wholistically, slightly jerk your body, and pay attention to the feeling of larger quanities and a less localized feeling of movent of the chi

Look where you go,
Go where you look,
Keep your shoulders soft,
Soft and slow.
awareness and visualization help when learning to move chi. the mind's intent (looking) sends the energy there (going). It is important to keep the shoulders relaxed and not contracted as this can interfere with the structual alignment and energy flow

Think of that,
Which is bad,
Think again,
You'll go mad.
it's very hard to tell if you are making progress or not. Such IMA exercises are tricky because of this. you might find yourself thinking you are making a mistake because you feel a new sensation, heat, or discomfort. then you reach a point where you mark this as actual progress. but you have to patiently keep doing the exercise, and not overanalyze the results. doing so will drive you crazy and make it too frustrating

Think of this,
Soft as mist,
Think hard,
You'll never start.


chi is a very subtle substance, one that comes naturally through repeated practice. if you try and think to hard or tense your muscles too much, you won't make any progress


Think neither this nor that,
Think not of thinking,
Think not, nothing to think.
simple repeated practice of the exercise is best, without tying oneself to an ultimate goal. thinking too hard, or exerting effort not to think, accomplish the same thing, namely lack of progress and frustration.

The fingers tingle,
The tingle rise,
The tingle move.
if you can concentrate simply on diong this exercise of visualization and moving chi without overanalyzing, these are the sensations you can experience. first it may come as a tingling in the fingers or feet, gradually the sensation will spread across the body, and the disconnected observing mind can follow or lead chi across the body.

It moves on skin,
Your centre spin,
It moves around,
It sinks to the ground.
more descriptions of how the chi can move at more advanced levels of practice

It speaks of knowledge,
Yet untold,
But a few have known,
Ages ago.
few people have the patience to acquire this ability, and science hasn't yet found a way to prove or disprove chi as a phenomenon. Those that have "known" did so through their experience and years of practice. Only a few "knew" because in order to "know" one has to put a huge amount of effort in. in a sense it is something that can be pointed at, but not directly tought because it relies so much on the concentration and dedication of the indivudal seeking the skill

Some believe, some believe not,
They shall be told,
And told oft,
It's the Way of the gods"
Those who don't understand what is and what isn't possible both in ancient and modern times either choose to completely disbelieve, or attribute it to some sort of magic/religious practice. The "practice" will continue to alude those who try to form opinions or desire IMA abilities for selfish reasons.

well, there was my interpretation.....interested in what you think.....

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 02-22-2005).]

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 02-22-2005).]

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