Placing your thoughts into your dantien

Postby Polaris » Wed May 26, 2004 11:56 pm

Greetings All,

I believe distinctions can be made between attention, intention and the conscious thought processes. That is something that a long T'ai Chi form trains us for, is to notice how much emphasis we habitually put in each place (assuming we want to know! LOL). That is where I was pointing with the "resting" comment I made, that there is a more or less passive observing that can be done as the body (and breathing) executes the changes required by the form. Thoughts will come and go regardless, it is how much relative attention we give them that will determine how they affect us. How I am taught is that you will notice more about everything; thoughts, breath, balance, etc., if you can get into the habit of observing those changes from the perspective of the lower Dantian rather than from the brain as you move.

Regards,
P.
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Postby The Wandering Brit » Thu May 27, 2004 12:04 pm

Polaris - "if you can get into the habit of observing those changes from the perspective of the lower Dantian"; i.e. take the Yi away from your thoughts and operate from your centre, examining everything passively from there?

Louis - Bizarrely, I ordered two Ames books yesterday afternoon my time, a few hours before your last post!
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Postby Polaris » Thu May 27, 2004 2:41 pm

WB,

This is going to sound strange, but my thoughts on the subject of thoughts are that you'd use your Yi (intention) to put the correct (or as my teachers would say, healthy) amount of attention on your conscious "word-thoughts." In other words, to take them for what they are worth. There are some thoughts that it is handy to put your Yi into sometimes, not running over pedestrians on the pavement, not smoking crack or not becoming a politician, for example. In training, though, Yi is the mechanism for deciding how to observe, passively in the case of the forms, actively in pushing hands and sparring. Especially in martial training, if you rely on your conscious thought patterns you won't be able to change quickly enough.

Regards,
P.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu May 27, 2004 5:11 pm

Greetings WB,

Re: “Bizarrely, I ordered two Ames books yesterday afternoon my time, a few hours before your last post!”

Well, you know, great minds. . . . I can’t recommend Roger Ames’ work highly enough. His insights into early Chinese texts is compelling, his translations of such texts as Sunzi, Sun Bin, parts of the Huainanzi, the Analects, the Daodejing, the Zhongyong are formidable. He collaborated on a number of volumes exploring “the self” in Asian contexts. Unfortunately, one of the better ones (with Thomas Kasulis), is currently out of print: _Self As Body in Asian Theory and Practice_, but may be available used or in library.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby The Wandering Brit » Thu May 27, 2004 5:19 pm

Polaris - Thankyou, makes a lot of sense.

Louis - Really looking forward to getting stuck into Mr Amess Daodejing for starters.

Thanks
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Postby Michael » Thu May 27, 2004 5:19 pm

Polaris,

I entirely agree with both of your last two posts. That is prety much what I was talking about.



[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 05-27-2004).]
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Postby Yury Snisarenko » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:27 am

Louis wrote:
"While it may be accurate to say that “most people” locate the self in their heads, there may be reason enough to challenge that assumption. It could well be the case that locating consciousness in this way (in the head) is historically recent, and culturally anomolous.

I've just read Shi Ming's book about refinement of consciousness and found similar thoughts in it.

For example:

" Here it must be explained that the modern Chinese term 'vital spirit' now refers only to the psychological activity of human consciousness, but its original meaning undoubtedly came from Chinese medical theories about vitality, energy, and spirit. … In its original meaning, the term 'vital spirit' indicates the total combined biological and psychological efficacy of the human body and mind."

" Refinement of consciousness means cultivation of every level of the 'spirit', including all the categories of Chinese medical science relative to the body and mind, especially to the psychological aspect: vitality, spirit, higher and lower souls, mind, attention, will, thought, reflection, and knowledge. It also includes other aspects of the whole spirit, including aspiration, temperament, character, and so on. "


Louis, I also liked what you said about "conscious movement" (zhijue yundong). Continuing to speak about correlation between mind and body I would like to add that in my view "conscious movement" also implies so called "transparent body". I think "transparent body" is another metaphor that very well complements fluid-based metaphor.
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