ARE WE POSSESSED?
By Paul Levy
C. G. Jung writes, “If, for a moment, we look at mankind as one individual, we see that it is like a man carried away by unconscious powers.” We are a species carried away — “possessed” by — and acting out, the unconscious. Jung elaborates, “Possession, though old-fashioned, has by no means become obsolete; only the name has changed. Formerly they spoke of ‘evil spirits,’ now we call them ‘neurosis’ or ‘unconscious complexes.’” To condescendingly think that we, as modern-day, rational people, are too sophisticated to believe in something as primitive as demons is to have fallen under the spell of the very evil spirits we are imagining are nonexistent. What the ancients call demons are a psychic phenomena which compel us to act out behaviors contrary to our best intentions. To quote Jung, “…the psychic conditions which breed demons are as actively at work as ever. The demons have not really disappeared but have merely taken on another form: they have become unconscious psychic forces.”
“Possession,” according to Jung is “a primordial psychic phenomenon” that “denotes a peculiar state of mind characterized by the fact that certain psychic contents, the so-called complexes, take over the Continue reading
Where in the World is Dantian?
By Sifu Anthony Korahais, 2012
The Chinese word dantian (丹田) literally means “elixir field”. A better translation is “energy center.” It is the natural center for your body’s energy. Dantian is important not only for energy arts like Qigong, but also for martial arts, especially Tai Chi Chuan and Shaolin Kung Fu.
So where in the world is dantian?
Traditionally, it is located slightly below and slightly behind your belly button. The classical measurement uses a biological inch, which is the width of your own thumb. So your dantian is located 3 thumb-widths below and 2 thumb-widths behind your navel.
But if you go searching for dantian with your thumbs, you’re not likely to find it. First of all, dantian can be in slightly different places for Continue reading
Chakras & Dantians
By Elizabeth Reninger
What is the relationship between the chakras of Hindu yoga systems and the dantians of Taoist yoga systems? Chakras and dantians share a similar function. Both are spaces within the subtle body where energy (prana or qi) gathers. Taoist yogis – practitioners of qigong and inner alchemy – use the lower, middle and upper dantians to gather, refine and circulate qi (also spelled “chi”). Hindu and Buddhist yogis tend to use the seven chakra system to accomplish the same.
Does it matter which map we use to access the terrain of our subtle bodies? I tend to think not, but others might disagree. Many have speculated about ways in which the two systems relate to each other. In the neidan practice of the “Microcosmic Orbit”, we circulate energy/awareness in a way that traverses the dantians as well as the chakras. There are acupuncture points along this pathway that can be used Continue reading
The word Kasina means a meditation object whereby the mind is concentrated. There are 10 types of Kasina. The following are how to meditate with Kasina based on Visuddhimagga or the Path of Purification.
1. The Earth Kasina (Pathavi)
The method of meditating using the Earth Kasina can be readily understood by one with previous experience from a past life. He or she might just see a farm or rice paddy field and the Learning Sign (Uggaha-nimitta) would arise easily. Those who do not have such merit must create a Kasina. There are two ways of making an Earth Element Kasina: movable and fixed in position.
Movable Kasina Continue reading
Ten recollections; ten foul objects; ten kasinas; four divine abidings; four formless absorptions; one resolution into elements; and one perception of the filthiness of food.
1. Buddhanussati: recollection of the virtues of the Buddha.
2. Dhammanussati: recollection of the virtues of the Dhamma.
3. Sanghanussati: recollection of the virtues of the Sangha.
4. Silanussati: recollection of one’s own moral virtue.
5. Caganussati: recollection of one’s generosity.
6. Devatanussati: recollection of the qualities that lead to rebirth as a heavenly being.
7. Kayagatasati: mindfulness immersed in the body.
8. Maranassati: mindfulness of death.
9. Anapanassati: mindfulness of breathing.
10. Upasamanussati: recollection of the virtues of nibbana — ultimate pleasure; unexcelled ease, free from birth, aging, illness and death.
Ten foul objects:
1. Uddhumataka: a rotten, bloated corpse, its body all swollen and its features distended out of shape. Continue reading
Artwork by Marsha Blaker and Paul DeSomma
The Upper Cinnabar Field,
located in the region of the brain
Cinnabar Fields (Dantian)
Fabrizio Pregadio, 2014
The Cinnabar Fields, or dantian, are three loci in the human body that play a major role in breathing, meditation, and Neidan (Internal Alchemy) practices. Located in the regions of the abdomen, the heart, and the brain, but devoid of material counterparts, they establish a tripartite division of inner space that corresponds to other threefold motives in the Taoist pantheon and cosmology.
The Three Fields
The lower Cinnabar Field is the dantian proper and is the seat of essence (jing). Different sources place it at 1.3, 2, 2.4, 3, or 3.6 inches (cun) below or behind the navel, and consider it to be the same as, or closely related to, other loci in the same region of the body: the Gate of the Existence (mingmen), the Origin of the Barrier (guanyuan), and the Ocean of Breath (qihai). In the first stage of the Neidan process (“refining essence Continue reading