Sunday Rambling Ruminations

Ever take time to take a good look at your kids and you’re struck with the fact that they’re Mother Nature’s incredible little miracles? Every day. But as hokey as it sounds, we’re all Mother Nature’s little miracles. But the fact that some of us view ourselves as “better” or “more important” than each other is a testament to how much we take each other’s magnificence for granted. And that makes me sad. This conscious separation of “me vs you” or “us vs them” is the cause of so much crap that goes on in our lives, whether it’s familial issues or racism or sexism or whatnot.

I take a lot of time throughout my day to meditate just to return to this feeling of interconnectedness with everyone despite the fact that so many don’t believe in interconnectedness. They flat out reject it, and reject me. They sadly think it’s “new agey” or “weird” despite the fact that we all do come from the same star stuff. Even scientists can attest to that.

But what’s more weird? Feeling as if we’re a part of each other and being mindful and respectful about how our own thoughts, emotions, and actions affect each other… or thinking that our new pair of Jordans or cars or hobbies or big muscles make us better than each other?

I go back to looking at my kids and gazing into their amazing little eyes. Full of hope and potential. I don’t care what they do in life, as long as they work hard and live a life of compassion. Compassion is the root of love. Compassion comes from the understanding that whatever we do will affect everyone else. And that’s the main teaching in morality I’ll give my kids to bring out the best in them in the hopes that they’ll do that for others as well. This is how I practice medicine too. And in this seemingly small way, this is how I choose to help change the world.

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Mom: “Meditation? What good does that do for the world?”

God bless Mom.

She lives with my wife and kids and I, but spends most of her time inside that tiny little dungeon called “her bedroom,” where she clutters whatever space she has left with miscellaneous things that she’s somehow become emotionally attached to over the past billion years. Not to mention that she spends countless hours reading books by James Clavell and watching Fox News. She apparently loves historical and current-event fiction.

But one day while we were on the road, she felt that she had to tell me that the Dalai Lama was basically a piece of shit who ate children and incited some sort of war killing a shitload of people.

Obviously she heard this from Sean Hannity.

I told her that’s a bunch of bullshit and she knew it. I’m not the hugest fan of the Dalai Lama myself, but eating children and starting wars? That’s not the Dalai Lama’s style. I also told her Tibetan Buddhism is as peaceful of a religion as you can get. They’re good people.

She asked me how they can be good people when all they do is beg and sit around all day thinking about nothing (my eyes were rolling at this point). I said that first of all, they’ve sworn off materialism which is why they all wear the same robes, and that they’ve cut their hair as short as they’ve cut their ego. So they look for charity in others much in the same way they serve others with charity.

She then asked, “But all they do is sit down and think about nothing. What good does that do for the world?”

That’s a valid statement, and a very good question. I can’t speak on behalf of the meditative practices of Tibetan Buddhism or any lineage of Buddhism as a whole, so the only way I can answer this is from a Taoist standpoint, albeit, a very beginner’s understanding of Taoism. But having friends of different Buddhist lineages, they tell me that Taoist meditation is very similar, so here it goes…

Let’s imagine that you had a shitty day. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed and so you start off the day in a shitty mood. So you yell at your spouse, kids, or roommates for whatever crappy thing they supposedly did. Then you can’t handle the traffic going to work or school and so you’re acting like a fool on the street, dangerously speeding or cutting people off. You finally get to work and start pissing off all of your coworkers. And after work you’re in rush hour once again acting a fool all the way back home, where your spouse, kids, or roommates are waiting for more of your crap.

But that’s the account from your perspective. What about all the people you’ve pissed off that day? Spouse, kids, roommates, coworkers, co-commuters, that barista you yelled at because they got your name wrong at Starbucks… how has your anger affected them? Maybe they had a horrible day because of you. Maybe somewhere along the line, the person you pissed off had pissed off someone else, and that person probably pissed off another person, who then probably got into a horrible fight with their boss or a deadly car accident or killed a cat in some blind rage, which then affects even more lives. Like the chaos theory of the butterfly who flaps its wings causing a hurricane on the other side of the world, you probably had devastated the lives of others somewhere in this vast web of human experience. And it all started just because you (and I do mean you) could not take responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and did not consider how it may affect the world around you.

What spiritual meditative practice does (again from my Taoist perspective), is it helps you understand what your thoughts and your feelings actually are, and how it affects everything and everyone around you. It makes you become accountable for everything you say, everything you think, and everything you do. And it does so by bringing you face to face with that evil monster that we call “ego.” Meditation puts your understanding of “ego” and “self” into perspective. A larger perspective. A perspective where, as the sage Chuang Tzu would describe as being able to “enter fire without getting burned, and to enter water without getting wet.” Don’t take that literally, though. It simply means to say that you’ve mastered virtuousness and that nothing big or small can jostle you out of your inner peace. Then it becomes easier to be more loving, compassionate, and happy. And that’s what the world needs to spread.

So in the case of your “bad day,” your anger would’ve stopped right in its tracks. Your loved ones would’ve had better days. Your co-commuters in traffic would’ve been more level-headed, and your coworkers would’ve been more productive. And who knows, maybe by just being patient, kind, or compassionate, you may have prevented another shooting spree or a war somewhere in time. It sounds far fetched and I could be wrong, but I’d rather be wrong in the right way.

So what good does meditation do for the world? All the good. All the fucking good. And all you have to do is sit the fuck down on your meditation cushion, shut the fuck up, and breathe.

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How neigong meditation has helped me so far.

I can post articles and Tumblr-friendly infographics all day about how qigong, neigong, or meditation in general can benefit you, but I feel like those things would have no real meaning unless I talk about it from an intimately personal standpoint. So how has neigong (a dynamic form of mindfulness meditation) helped me?

Well ever since my acupuncture practice has been getting busy in February, I was feeling drained by the end of each day. Like really drained. Like, I just wanted to go home and simply go to bed and sleep for twelve hours. But of course, any of you have a spouse and small children would understand that simply going to bed is just not something you “simply” do. So that wasn’t an option. So by the end of February, it finally kicked in that maybe I should start sitting on my zafu and cultivate some Qi. And since then I’ve been doing it religiously, so much so that I can’t go a day without doing it.

My body’s been going through a lot of changes. Since I started this meditative journey in March, I’ve been having a lot more energy and haven’t been feeling drained at all in my clinic since then. As a matter of fact, I’ve been taking on even more patients per day since February, and I’ve been feeling fine.

What’s even more interesting is that due to the nature of the type of meditation I do, my senses have been a lot more sensitive in the form of feeling, hearing, and sight. And because of that my acupuncture diagnosis and treatment outcomes have been incredible. I’ve also become even more intuitive than I used to be, which not only improves my diagnosis and treatment strategies tremendously, but my intuition has improved in every aspect in my life.

But what I really like is that I’m more calm, less angry, and feeling less stress. The things that really get my panties in a bunch really don’t bug me as much as they used to be. And if they do, it’s only for a few seconds. Stress is virtually non-existent. Even being a Navy Reservist, with the looming possibility of having to leave my family constantly hangs over my head… that doesn’t bother me anymore either. I feel liberated.

And because I’m starting to let go of all those toxic emotions, and uncluttering my brain, I’m able to concentrate more, and concentrate better.

But one really interesting side-effect to doing neigong every day is that I’ve become ultra-sensitive to my body’s needs which helped change my diet and lifestyle tremendously. Neigong basically means “inward training” which really makes you experience and observe everything from inside of your body from your thoughts to your bones. Everything. And because of that, I’m able to listen to what my body needs. And lately, it needs to be vegetarian. It’s so weird. One day I snapped out of my meditative state, jumped off my meditation cushion and decided I’m going to be a vegetarian, after years of eating medium-rare prime ribs and eating every bit right down to the gristle. But it wasn’t a conscious decision to become a vegetarian, my body decided it just didn’t want any meat. Starting in late-October, I’ve been feeling sick after eating beef, chicken, pork, etc. Even some seafood too (I’m actually still good with salmon but the shit’s expensive so I keep that to a minimum). I guess I’m more a pescetarian. But I don’t crave it. Just plant-based food. It’s so weird, but I welcome the change. And I’ve been losing unwanted weight easier, and feeling even more energetic.

So those are my most palpable changes I’ve experienced since starting my neigong meditation regimen on the first of March. Pretty sweet, huh? I mean there’s also that intuitive understanding of our interconnectedness and oneness with the Tao and all the other stuff (etc etc etc), but it’s not like I’ve never intuitively felt that way or experienced it before. I’ve experienced all that shit when I was a kid (long story there). But if there’s one thing that neigong meditation is doing towards “enlightenment,” it’s that it brings those things out towards the surface, and holds it there the longer you practice. Because sometimes you forget. Meditation is there to remind you that you’re absolutely brilliant in the most selfless and compassionate way.

 

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Meditation Notes

My neigong practice has been doing quite well lately, ever since the last post where I realized that what I’ve been doing wrong was that I was “trying” to do something. More specifically, I was “trying” to get my Dantian to light up. So since then, I’ve been simply sitting, observing my Dantian, and just allowing things to happen, experiencing every nuance and every sensation that comes along with it. Usually, I feel my Dantian heat up, and within minutes I feel that heat spread through my body and eventually filling up my head. It’s pretty interesting, and makes for some pretty interesting sensations, but then after a while I start feeling a little too much pressure in my head.

Like the other day, my head started feeling a little too much pressure, I had to do some light acupuncture on myself to relieve it. But it wasn’t enough, and I didn’t have time to give myself a full session, so I had to take an herbal formula from my sales stock and pound some of that, which helped. But interestingly enough, when I punctured my Yintang point (the third eye), it gave me a stronger than normal De Qi sensation (a sensation unique to acupuncture), and stayed red around the area and stimulated for a few days after I removed the needle. That normally doesn’t happen. I wonder what that means?

In any case, a couple things have been happening:

I’ve been feeling anxiety (with palpitations) for no reason at all for the past two weeks. I’m not stressed out, my diet is good, and I exercise. I’ve researched “anxiety and meditative practice” on google, and the only things that I find that might be relevant would be that sometimes when people have “awakenings” or have attained a level of “enlightenment,” anxiety might be a symptom that comes along with it. Which is interesting because whenever I do get that sensation that “everything is me,” or “I’m one with the universe,” my heart starts beating out of my chest.

Another thing that is happening is that I’m becoming much more sensitive to peoples’ energy. It sounds new-agey for sure, but I’m talking more in terms of my acupuncture practice. There are more and more instances that if I’m not blocking out people, I can actually feel their pain symptoms in myself. For instance, the other day I had a patient who came to my clinic asking me to treat her for chronic migraines. When I felt her pulse, I felt a headache coming on. When I asked her if she had a low-grade headache on side of her head, she said yes. There was another patient whom when I felt her pulse, I felt this rush of nervousness and my heart started racing. I asked her if she was nervous, she said yes. It’s happened to me a lot in the past, but nowadays much more frequently than before.

One more thing that’s been happening is that my craving for certain foods have been changing. I used to be the biggest meat eater you could imagine. Meat meat meat. Give me a prime rib, medium rare, and I was in heaven. But since the first week of November, I had this urge to be a vegetarian. No rhyme or reason, I just simply wanted to become a vegetarian. As a matter of fact, my body has been rejecting most animal flesh, except for some seafood. I’d feel sick after eating beef, chicken, pork, etc. Dairy is fine, but the thought of eggs has been disgusting to me lately. So strange, I used to love eggs up till a month ago. Perhaps my body just wants “higher frequency foods?”

In any case, I feel like my body is becoming more and more “tuned in.” I can feel things. Sometimes see things, like [energies?] [spirits?] and even hear things too. I’m trying not to be a phenomena seeker, I just wanna heal people. As far as that’s concerned, my treatment outcomes have been doing increasingly better, and my Qi projection has been doing really well. And although I’m still not sure exactly what I’m doing… I’m still getting good outcomes with my patients who I project Qi into.

It’s all pretty strange. But I welcome it. I like it. I love feeling like my body is vibrating so hard I get head pressure and chills. I feel like something is on the verge of happening, but I don’t know what, and really I don’t really care. I’m just enjoying it all.

It’s damn near impossible for me to sit and do Zuowang practice without it turning into Neigong. But really, is there a difference? My mind is still and my body has fallen off, yet I can feel every nuance of the world around me.

I still don’t really care about this “enlightenment” thing that everyone is seeking. I just enjoy my sittings and the good things that come out of them… like healing others due to my heightened senses, and having achieved a sense of inner peace that I never thought I’d have. I mean nothing gets to me as much as it used to. I used to be a super angry guy. Could it be that I’m just maturing? Maybe. But one things for sure, all of these changes started happening only after I’ve been doing my sittings religiously. My inward practice is important to me, but enlightenment isn’t. The results of my dedicated sittings are incredible. They’re very important to me because it helps others.

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Meditation Notes

Since my last meditation entry, I’ve been stumbling through my meditation sessions like I’m still brand spanking new to this. It’s stupid. I’ve been doing my neigong every day (except for a few Sundays or Mondays here and there) but you’d think I’ve never done this before. But I guess it’s true when my Qigong master says “you’ll have good days, and you’ll have bad days.”

At first I didn’t believe him when he first said that because I was progressing really well at the time and just like the attitude of a dumb teenager/young adult, I would scoff, “No… yeah, I got this.”

But after having made milestone after milestone, I’ve plateaued. There are times when I really can’t feel my dantian, or that I can’t control my attention for the entire session. And then I’d be mentally scrambling through the myriad of ten-thousand neigong techniques and visualizations and breathing techniques that I somehow learned, but to no avail. Then when the session is over, I’d get up off my mat with the resigned feeling of “yeah that hour was pointless.”

It’s been happening over the past week. Weird though, because while I was out on vacation in Mexico a few weeks ago, I was locked into the wuji. But over the past week, it’s been futile. I wonder why? But it doesn’t matter. I want so badly to contact my Qigong instructor, but I know what he’s going to say… nothing. He never e-mails me back. So today I got pretty desperate and went into The Tao Bums website to look through his responses on various threads and every advice he gives out is basically the same advice. Simplicity.

In Qigong/Neigong there are so many damn techniques out there, and many of them are really advanced techniques. Many of them are very involved. But Lomax’s techniques are very simple. And it was that simplicity that resonated with me and got me to experience things that I’ve never though I’d experience.

But I tend to forget. Sometimes I need a reminder. Just relax, don’t engage your thoughts, and “observe” the dantian. Don’t try anything.

In Taoism, there’s much emphasis in quiet observation of nature. And nature has this way of spontaneously allowing the brilliance of all things to shine. When a tiny, young tree grows, no one pulls on its trunk to make it grow. All it needs is the environment to grow, such as good soil and nourishment, and in time it becomes beautiful tree. And I guess it’s the same thing with Qi cultivation. I can’t “make” my dantian heat up and vibrate. I can only provide it with the environment to do so by making the mind and body still. Then spontaneously, it will do it’s thing.

Wu wei or the highway.

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Happy Veterans Day

Coming from a place of healing, and being a deeply spiritual person myself, I was asked once how I was able to resolve being in the military while claiming to be a healer and spiritualist.

That’s easy. I’m a Hospital Corpsman in the US Navy Reserve. Part of my job is to work in a hospital setting, and another part of my job is to treat combat-related injuries on the spot while the bullets are flying. But not only is it my duty to give care for our own and our allies, but it’s also my duty to give care to the people trying to kill us. So if my orders are to give our enemies the same standard of care we give to our own, then that’s what I’ll do. It takes a level of compassion in order to do that, and that I have.

At the end of the day, I view our “enemies” as people who feel that they’re right about the world as we do, we just have differing views.

I know it sounds odd that I’m giving who we consider “terrorists” the “benefit of the doubt,” but it’s my duty both as a member of the military and as a fellow human being. I admit, it’s a very unique way to view life, but that’s just how I view it.

If not for our political or religious differences, I’m pretty sure that in any other circumstances we can all get along really well. Please, no Rodney King jokes right now, okay?!

And that’s who I give compassion and medical care to… once you strip away the part of the human ego that sets itself apart by politics and religion, you get this beautiful human being that lies underneath it all. That’s who I care about.

But please don’t get me wrong, it’s my duty first and foremost to protect my men, and to protect my country by any means necessary. It’s only after the bullets stop flying is when my compassion for any wounded kicks in.

My thanks go out to my brothers and sisters of the US Armed Forces, and special thanks to those “damn few” who have been down range and sacrificed on my behalf.

Happy Veterans Day

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Meditation Notes

Interesting sessions today, did my neigong for a total of 90 minutes (1hr, and two 15min sessions), all of which had me buzzing at a pretty good vibrational rate. During one of the 15min sessions, I thought my head was gonna explode. I thought I was gonna get a stroke or aneurism. But I kept pushing through it testing my limits. I should be careful with that, though. I probably could end up like the one guy my professor said who did Microcosmic Orbit excessively and ended up going through a neurologic shock that rendered him unable to teach mathematics or do any simple math equations. I did try to push the energy back into my dantian, but the shit wanted to ascend, so I let it. I should’ve at least taken my herbal meds afterwards though, cuz I felt it all stagnate up in my head for a few minutes afterwards. The other 15min session was good, kept it in my dantian for the most part.

But one interesting thing to note, in his book “Sit Down and Shut Up” by Brad Warner (I quote his books all the time, so bear with me), he said that the universe loves you. And I believe him to be right, which is why we have such a thing as Karma, the law of cause and effect that keeps us in check for being a dirtbag or rewards us for being good. The universe wants us to survive and live good lives, otherwise it wouldn’t have given us ways to protect ourselves from disease like skin and immune systems, or legs and hormones to help us run away from danger.

With that thought in mind, I realized that the Wuji, the void, the emptiness that the universe was born from, loves us. Therefore, the source Qi is love and compassion.

I realized all this after my initial 1hr neigong meditation. So for the next two sessions, I cultivated Qi by uniting it with love and compassion, and the results were amazing. I was calm, yet full of energy and vitality, and the pain that was menacing my lower back had subsided.

After that, I also remembered that Tibetan monks meditate upon love and compassion, and scientists measuring their brainwaves noticed that neural frequencies were higher than normal, all the way up to Gamma waves, which is really, ridiculously high. I may have touched upon that.

And another test I did on myself was to perform medical qigong on one of my patients suffering from a torn ligament in her knee. So I projected on her knee the same Qi mixed with love and compassion that I cultivated, and she walked away with no pain.

Note: she had no idea that I was doing any sort of energy work. She didn’t know I did any energy work, she probably doesn’t even know what energy work is. I merely told her to relax and focus on her breathing, so not to minimize the placebo effect.

On another note, I’ve been curious about another aspect of Taoism which included magic and sorcery. I remember a few months ago a lady called me asking if I could remove a hex that she had. I remember actually feeling negative energy through her phone call even before she told me she had a hex on her. So I asked one of my friends if exorcisms is done with medical qigong, and he said no, and not to get into any of that. I asked if having a protective shield around myself is enough to keep others from putting hexes on me, he said yes, but Luke 9:1 is the best:

Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

In terms of Taoist healing, I interpret that as you’re calling upon the source Qi of love and compassion to protect yourself from evil. The same way that radio waves are no match for gamma waves, the low level frequencies of evil and hate are no match for how strong love and compassion are.

I’m sorry this is poorly written and seemingly contrived, but I’m being honest here. Plus it’s late.

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