From nothing to something and back

I let go and enter the domain of no one.

Heaven and Earth are one.
The circle and square are equals.

They separate as necessary without effort.
First boundless stillness, then endless movement.

It makes no sense to talk about form or formlessness.
Substance or no substance – what’s the difference?

Body, energy and mind – what are they?
I am just a conduit of the forces of Nature.

My mind drives and fills out Form.
Empty but full, it pervades the Universe.

I stand in the Center.
Watching the Master and the servant at work.

When we offer no resistance,
we meet no resistance.

Miracles and Mystery.
The mundane stuff is welcomed like a friend.

I have no mind of my own.
Eventually this will fall away too.

Perfection in imperfection.
Imperfection in perfection.

It seems as if I am there, but I am not.
I am not, but am I right here.

Others cannot fathom it.
I cannot fathom it either.

Naturally – it’s ok.

(Poem about the liberation of mind, heart and intention “Shen, Xin and Yi” in spiritual work like: Standing Meditation, Qigong, Neigong, Neijia and Taiji )

The Jade Tablet

The Jade Pendant InscriptionTo guide the Qi, allow it to enter deeply and collect it. As it collects, it will expand. Once expanded, it will sink down. When it sinks down, it comes to rest. After it has come to rest, it becomes stable.

When the Qi is stable, it begins to sprout. From sprouting, it begins to grow. As it grows, it can be pulled back upwards. When it is pulled back upwards, it reaches the crown of the head.

It then touches above the crown of the head and below at the base of the spine. Who practices like this will attain long life. Who goes against this will die.

Reference: Sitting in Oblivion – The Heart of Daoist Meditation by Livia Kohn 2010 Se also The Jade Tablet neigong.net

Our Life Is a Work of Art

After a retreat in southern California, an artist asked me,“What is the way to look at a flower so that I can make the most of it for my art?” I said, “If you look in that way, you cannot be in touch with the flower. Abandon all your projects so you can be with the flower with no intention of exploiting it or getting something from it.” The same artist told me, “When I am with a friend, I want to profit from him or her.” Of course we can profit from a friend, but a friend is more than a source of profit. Just to be with a friend, without thinking to ask for his or her support, help, or advice, is an art.

It has become a kind of habit to look at things with the intention of getting something. We call it “pragmatism,” and we say that the truth is something that pays. If we meditate in order to get to the truth, it seems we will be well paid. In meditation, we stop, and we look deeply. We stop just to be there, to be with ourselves and with the world. When we are capable of stopping, we begin to see and, if we can see, we understand. Peace and happiness are the fruit of this process. We should master the art of stopping, in order to really be with our friend and with the flower.

How can we bring elements of peace to a society that is very used to making profit? How can our smile be the source of joy and not just a diplomatic maneuver? When we smile to our- selves, that smile isnot diplomacy; it isthe proofthat we areour- selves, that we have full sovereignty over ourselves. Can we write a poem on stopping, aimlessness, or just being? Can we paint something about it? Everything we do is an act of poetry or a paintingifwe do it with mindfulness. Growing lettuce is poetry. Walking to the supermarket can be a painting.

When we do not trouble ourselves about whether or not something is a work of art, if we just act in each moment with composure and mindfulness, each minuteofour life is a work of art. Even when weare not paintingor writing, we are still creating. We are pregnant with beauty, joy, and peace, and we are making life more beautiful for many people. Sometimes it is better not to talk about art by using the word “art.” If we just act with awareness and integrity, our art will flower, and we don’t have to talk about it at all. When we know how to be peace, we find that art is a wonderful way to share our peacefulness. Artistic expression will take place in one way or another, but the being is essential.So we must go back to ourselves, and when we have joy and peace in our selves, our creations of art will be quite natural, and they will serve the world in a positive way.

Reference: Peace Is Every Step p. 39-40 by Thich Nhat Hanh

Realising our full potential

Realising our full pontential

Realising our full potential – Saturday 18th May – Day Course Retreat

To achieve true happiness, we must understand what is holding us back and learn to develop the mind to achieve its full potential. In this day course retreat we will look into our life purpose and learn practical methods to overcome obstacles and to achieve our deepest wishes. Kelsang Tubchen will teach and Kelsang Lobon will guide the meditations.

Please book in advance – Thank you!

The Clear Light Kadampa Buddhist Centre
St. Kongensgade 40H, st. tv.
København K
Denmark

Details, price and booking:
Realising our full potential meditateincopenhagen.org

NB! Guest teacher Kelsang Tubchen who is the principal teacher in Oslo will also be in Copenhagen on the 17th. of May for the evening event “Food for Thought” which includes a meditation and meal in a peaceful and open environment!

Meditation as a great Art

Krishnamurti saw meditation as a great art, “perhaps the greatest.” One must learn this art by practicing without technique—watching oneself: in daily activities (walking, eating), practices (speech, gossip), reactive emotions (hate, jealousy)—becoming aware of these things “without any choice.” Many forms of meditation have been invented to escape conflicts. These forms, according to Krishnamurti are “based on desire… the urge for achievement,” implying conflict, and a “struggle to arrive.” This striving, he saw as “within the limits of a conditioned mind, and in this there is no freedom.” True meditation is “the ending of thought,” leading to “a different dimension… beyond time.” Thought and feeling “dissipate energy.” Their repetition is mechanical, and, while necessary, do not permit one to enter the “immensity of life.” Meditation is the “emptying of the mind of the known.” It is not thought, nor prayer, nor “the self-effacing hypnotism of words, images, hopes and vanities” all of which must “come to an end, easily, without effort and choice, in the flame of awareness.”

Reference: Jiddu Krishnamurti meditation wikipedia.org

The path of inner refinement is extremely simple and easy

Bai Yuzhan said, “The path of inner refinement is extremely simple and easy; just get the fire of the heart to descend into the elixir field. The elixir field is the chamber of water, while the heart is fire. When fire enters water, then water and fire mix and true yang is produced. Therefore people Call them heart and genitals, not water and fire.”

Reference: Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body translated by Thomas Cleary p. 115

Mind does not know mind

Mind does not know mind;
having a mind, one does not see mind.
Producing thought is confusion;
no thoughts is nirvana.

The Buddhas attain liberation by way of mind;
the mind, without defilement, is called pure:
immaculate in all states of being, it does not take on form.
Those who understand this attain the great Way.

Reference: Stopping and Seeing: Comprehensive Course in Buddhist Meditation by Chih-i (Translated by Thomas Cleary) p. 59

Qiangzhuang Gong

Health Promotion Exercise

Functions
Reinforces intrinsic Qi and promotes good health and the ability to prevent and cure disease.

Methods
Natural respiration or reverse breathing techniques can be used in the practice of this exercise.

1. Natural Respiration. Sit cross-legged or take a standing posture. Gradually regulate your breath so that it is quiet, even, fine, and slow. Concentrate the mind on the Dantian.

2. Reverse Breathing. Sit cross-legged or stand using reverse breathing while concentrating the mind on the Dantian. Pull in the abdomen and contract the anus during inspiration to pull Qi into the Dantian. Expand the abdomen during expiration to allow Qi to move throughout the entire body.

Application
Health Promotion Exercise improves health and treats hypertension, neurosis, coronary heart disease, and arthritis.

Points for Attention
This exercise can be practiced 1–4 times a day, 10–60 minutes each time. Fine, even, deep, and long respiration can only be achieved through long-term practice and should not be pursued forcefully or by suppressing breath. Stop exercising before you get tired.

Reference: Qigong for Treating Common Ailments: The Essential Guide to Self Healing by Xu Xiangcai

 

Water drizzling down a mountain side

Water drizzling down the mountain wall

glittering in the sun
mist rising to the top

birds and green
everywhere life is seen

drifting in the clouds
standing like a giant

reaching to center of the earth
stretching up towards the heavens

unmoved yet alive
standing here

how am I different?
.

A journey towards liberation

Vipassana Documentary from India

Personally I took a 10 day intensive Vipassana meditation course in Nepeal just after New Year 2012. 10-11 hours of meditation every day, keeping the buddhist precepts of a strictly vegetarian diet, refraining from sexual activity and keeping to silence and non communication. As many of the prisoners in the movie “Doing Time, Doing Vipassana” I had no real prior experience with meditation.

The first 2-3 days was a refined form of physical and mental torture as my body and mind constantly rebelled against the rigorous training. After the first day and second day I felt like screaming and running away. Actually it was only by the kind and loving intervention of one the foreign volunteers at Dharmashringa that I managed to overcome my desperation. I remember thinking I would have preferred going to a Nepalese jail instead.

As the days went on my struggling body and mind started to settle by themselves. I began a profound journey towards my self – a journey that trancends language! First everyday problems and worries started to wane, then old stuff started to emerge and go from the depths of my mind together with injuries and bad habits of my body. Then something happened. I adjusted to the situation.

Not all was perfect or even good – but somehow even the most troublesome moments was okay! An immense presence slowly manifested it self.

For me it was a life altering experience. To this day I am not sure that I would do it again. But I will recommend this journey towards liberation to all!

I am still struggling in this very moment: Innica Innica – maintaining equanimity!

Links:
Vipassanā wikipedia.org
Nepal Vipassana Center Dharmashringa www.np.dhamma.org
Vipassana i Norden Dhamma Sobhana
www.pariyatti.org Vipassana Shop

The Vipasana Meditation Technique neigong.net

Videos:
Doing Time, Doing Vipassana 1/4
Doing Time, Doing Vipassana 2/4
Doing Time, Doing Vipassana 3/4
Doing Time, Doing Vipassana 4/4

Books:
The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka
Discourse Summaries: Talks from a Ten-day Course in Vipassana Meditation

The Intercourse of Water and Fire

Whenever you leak vital spirit, being stirred and interacting with beings, that is all fire. Whenever you gather back spirits consciousness and quiet it down to steep in the center, that is all water. When the senses run outward, that is fire; when the senses turn around  inward, that is water.

The one yin [ inside the fire trigram ] concentrates on pursuing sense experience, while the one yang [ inside the water trigram ] concentrates on reversing and withdrawing the senses themselves.

Water and fire are yin and yang, yin and yang are body and mind, body and mind are spirit and energy. Once you withdraw to rest your vital spirit and are not influenced by objects, then this is true intercourse, as of course when you sit in profound silence.

Reference:The Secret of the Golden Flower: The Classic Chinese Book of Life new translation by Thomas Cleary XI p. 55

Watsu – Water Shiatsu

Origins of Watsu

Watsu® (Water Shiatsu) began in 1980 in the warm pool at Harbin Hot Springs when Harold Dull started floating people while applying the stretches and principles of the Zen Shiatsu he had studied in Japan. In the Orient, stretching as a way to open channels through which our Chi energy flows is even older than acupuncture. Stretching strengthens muscle and increases flexibility. Warm water, which many associate with the body’s deepest states of waking relaxation, is the ideal medium. The support of water takes weight off the vertebrae and allows the spine to be moved in ways impossible on land. Gentle, gradual twists and pulls relieve the pressure a rigid spine places on nerves and helps undo any dysfunctioning this pressure can cause to the organs serviced by those nerves. The Watsu receiver experiences greater flexibility and freedom. During Watsu a range of emotions can come up and be released into the process of continuous flow. This reprograms receivers to face life out of the water with greater equanimity and flexibility.

Another principle of Zen Shiatsu, that of connecting with the breath, takes on a new dimension in Watsu. On land, the breathing is coordinated with leaning into points. In water, our most basic move is the Water Breath Dance, in which we float someone in our arms and let them sink a little as they breathe out and let the water lift us as we both breathe in. Repeated over and over at the beginning of a Watsu, this creates a connection that can be carried into all the stretches and moves. This Water Breath Dance, and its stillness, is returned to throughout the session.

Experiencing both giving and receiving this most nurturing form of bodywork can help heal whatever wounds of separation we carry and renew in us our sense of connection and oneness with others. For this reason Watsu is Rebonding Therapy. Watsu is used around the world by professional bodyworkers, physical therapists, psychologists, as well as the general public.

Watsu, and the way it is taught, has evolved over the years. In the beginning the focus was primarily on stretching. With the Waterbreath Dance and the greater connection of moves to the breath, a more meditative stillness entered in. The use of flotation devices on legs that would otherwise sink has widened the possibilities and the ease of a Watsu.

Once a practitioner has reached the level of presence and connection that the carefully evolved Watsu Forms instill, they are taught and encouraged to explore the creative potential in Watsu Free Flow.

Reference: www.watsu.com