Tag Archives: zuowang

Trust and Respect

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Sitting in Oblivion to Blow Up the Outside World

 

Almost twenty years ago, I was suffering from one of the lowest points of my life. I was an undergrad at the time, but the downward spiral of anger and depression that I was going through were so debilitating that I would spend days on end at home, not wanting to go outside, not wanting to see or speak to any of my friends (or whatever friends I had left). I held myself hostage inside of my apartment that I treated like a turtle shell, inside of which I hid. The only energy I had was just enough to sleep, smoke cigarettes, and listen to the radio. At the time, it was the mid-90’s and alternative/grunge was my savior. Continue reading

The Piss and Shit of Reality

Master Tung-kuo asked Chuang Tzu, “This thing called the Tao… where does it exist?”
Chuang Tzu said, “There’s no place it doesn’t exist.”
“Come,” said Master Tung-kuo, “you must be more specific!”
“It is in the ant.”
“As low a thing as that?”
“It is in the grass.”
“But that’s lower still!”
“It is in the tiles and shards.”
“How can it be so low?”
“It is in the piss and shit.” 

I love this entry from the Chuang Tzu/Zhuangzi. It’s probably my favorite entry in the whole book, because in my eyes, it talks about reality.

When I talk to some people about spiritual practice, they’re taken aback by how “ordinary” I seem. I swear a lot, I’m into punk music, I laugh at fart jokes, and have the sense of humor of a sailor. But the reason why people are weirded out by me is because many people’s idea of “spirituality” is an image of a sage with flowing robes, floating just above humanity, walking two inches off the ground, speaking in a sagely tone using the word “one” as a fucking pronoun (“one must…”), and that everything is puppy dogs and ice cream.

But that’s all bullshit. Continue reading

Knowing

My qigong master once said, “When we practice our qigong, we realize the brilliance of our own intuitive knowledge. But if we don’t practice, we not only forget what we know, but we forget that we knew.”

About a month ago, one of my former classmates from acupuncture college came into my office for a treatment. It’s been years since I’ve seen her, but that day she stopped for a second and said that I looked like a “monk.” I was pretty flattered because I knew that she meant that I have the appearance of someone who cultivates every single day. Being a person who cultivates as well, she could read that in me. And it’s not because I have a bald head and wear beads on my wrist. I guess I have a “look.” But I’m not going for a look. Continue reading

The Tao of IDGAF

“I Don’t Give A Fuck” is an attitude that could either mean you’re a total asshole, or that you’re conserving precious emotional energy.

You must research this.

A lot of times, when people say that they don’t care, it can often mean that they’re giving themselves an excuse to act selfishly. People like that genuinely don’t care about the consequences that their own actions have on themselves and on others. Like people who drive recklessly or people who go around instigating others. That’s just being a total asshole. Continue reading

Cultivation of Stillness

Here’s an excerpt from an esoteric classic of Taoist scripture of which I will remain nameless for absolutely no reason at all, but enjoy:

“During the twelve double-hours of the day,
Constantly seek clarity and stillness.
The numinous tower of the heart emptied of all things:
This is called clarity.
Not allowing even a single thought to arise:
This is called stillness.

The body is the dwelling place of qi.
The heart is the residence of the spirit.
When intent moves, spirit is agitated;
When spirit is agitated, qi is dispersed.

When the intent is stable, spirit remains fixed;
When spirit remains fixed; qi gathers.
The perfect qi of the Five Phases
Then gathers together and forms a pinch of elixir.”

It’s interesting to note that even though my studies in medical qigong and Taoist priesthood seemingly come from a vastly different place, through this scripture, the intent is exactly the same.

Deeper now…

In Taoist meditation, specifically Zuowang, or “Sitting in Oblivion,” there’s that state you enter where you lose track of your physical body, your senses, and your thoughts cease. In some circles, they call this “emptiness,” and in other circles, they call it “wuji,” “void,” or “primordial chaos.” In either case, it’s pretty rad. Continue reading