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TMA UnderGround >> Anyone do yoga or tai chi here..?


2/5/04 6:21 PM
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FutureProdigy
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Edited: 05-Feb-04
Member Since: 09/21/2002
Posts: 396
 
Ive been doing alot of reading on buddhism these days and yoga and tai chi keeps popping up in my readings. I was just wondering if anyone here practices it and if so what are your experiences with it? Do you actually feel anything while doing it (like you would meditating) or are you just strictly going through the motions.
2/6/04 1:19 PM
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Naughty Gorilla
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Edited: 06-Feb-04
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You can get as much out of it as you want to. Personally, I just do them for health reasons, I can meditate anytime that's it's quiet. Btw, you are not necessarily supposed to "feel" anything in Buddhist meditation, though some advanced practitioners report some unusual sensations
2/6/04 1:20 PM
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Naughty Gorilla
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Edited: 06-Feb-04
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I think the vast majority of yoga/tai chi people in their native countries just do it for exercise as well
2/21/04 2:51 AM
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dale carnegie
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Edited: 21-Feb-04
Member Since: 02/15/2004
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I do tai chi (14 years) and zazen (1.5 years). I had some "whee, I'm in the zone" moments doing tai chi. But they felt kind of empty and dissociated like it wasn't me doing the form (which could be a very buddhist 'no-ego' thing for all I know). The stuff I get off on is heightened awareness like I can feel my central nervous system jack in to the mainline of my brain. My whole body lights up and shudders into place (I wonder "how the hell does it know this is where everything is supposed to be") - I feel nerves down to the ones buzzing in my teeth - I suddenly pull a deep clean breath as if I've just come up from drowning. Movements set off waves of hilarity. The quality of my senses suddenly changes and I'm standing in my garden looking at it like i've never seen anything like it before. Or I can feel my feet and legs turn to like another pair of hands and arms on the floor pulling me around. Or I just notice my tight inner thigh and it relaxes itself then the muscles in my upperbody suddenly adjust exactly the right amount and all the pieces again fall into place. Those are fun, interesting curiosities which are cool. The other stuff you get is health benefits, getting better at tai-chi itself, and practicing mindfulness/awareness/mind-body-connection while you're moving around. It's hard to take your zen practice from zazen into the rest of your life so there's 'kinhin' or walking zen meditation. The only thing is it's DEAD BORING. I find it even more unbearable than zazen. I will do a couple of minutes to wake my legs up between sittings but apart from that I use tai chi now as the transitional stage.
2/21/04 2:57 PM
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FutureProdigy
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Edited: 21-Feb-04
Member Since: 09/21/2002
Posts: 442
so you yourself are buddhist then i take it, whyd you choose that route?
2/21/04 7:11 PM
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dale carnegie
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Edited: 21-Feb-04
Member Since: 02/15/2004
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FutureProdigy, How I got into it is from just finding out about new stuff I come across. With tai chi I thought it would make me someone great to be able to do the magical stuff you read about in stories of the old masters. With buddhism I thought enlightenment sounded pretty cool and I wanted it. Every few years or so i'd get interested in buddhism again and find another book and have a dabble. I tried Tibetan and found it complicated. Tried Vietnamese and had a messy time forcing myself to be happy, smile, etc. Found Ordinary Mind Zen (Joko Beck) which led to Soto Zen (Dogen). That stuff just clicked with me. I was finding so many things that were the way I thought and behaved already so I guess the seeds just took pretty easily. Joko Beck's stuff wakes you up to the unrealistic expectations you might have of Buddhism (and anything else too). Once you sit for a while and stop struggling so much you start to get some peace out of zazen. My tai-chi got more relaxed too. Now I don't practice as much forcing myself to go after this or that feeling. Instead I practice more just noticing what I am actually doing and stripping away rather than trying to add on, freeing the movements. Zazen gets me to be aware of myself. I notice some of the absurd nonsense my brain naturally secretes while it's doing its job - but since I've noticed it I'm not swept away by it. It's just a thought that came up and then passes. I think that's the quality that changes: you aren't living your life based on whatever thoughts happen to be passing through your brain at that time. I don't chant to buddha or anything like that - just sit, kinhin, tai-chi, and try to have awareness during the day. What about you, what kind of stuff are you reading? What are you looking for? What martial arts do you do? Have you tried tai-chi? Had any interesting experiences in MA / meditation?
6/5/04 12:54 PM
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BushHog
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Edited: 05-Jun-04
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Posts: 1916
Dharma Punx...Noah levine.
6/5/04 4:52 PM
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Worth
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Edited: 05-Jun-04
Member Since: 09/05/2003
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I do a combination of yoga and pilates. It increases my overall muscle tone and helps with flexibility. You can do specific exercises to strenghten and stretch specific body parts/areas. It has been wonderful for me to stretch and loosen up.
6/5/04 6:13 PM
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FutureProdigy
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Edited: 05-Jun-04
Member Since: 09/21/2002
Posts: 510
I am actually a Christian (yes let the insults come now lol) so i have been weary about wanting to start tai chi or yoga. To tell you the truth the only reason i wanted to get into buddhism was the fact that they all seemed so peaceful inside. I liked the idea of inner peace, and self-betterment (if that is a word). Which is why i wanted to learn how to meditate. I think it would help me out alot. I am not looking into tai chi or yoga for fitness but for soul purposes i guess. Dale can you learn to meditate without becoming a buddhist?
6/6/04 11:16 PM
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grambo
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Edited: 06-Jun-04
Member Since: 03/10/2003
Posts: 585
FutureProdigy, you can certainly meditate while maintaining your Christianity. Dale, I know exactly what you're talking about, the clarity that comes with regular meditation. I meditated off and on for about four years, then decided to put a serious effort into it one day. After about 6 months of meditating 4-6 hours a day the clarity was actually a bit much for me, seeing the world as it is currently made me feel worse than I had ever felt before in my life. I had some truly spiritual moments along the way, though. Moments that I could not begin to describe. It ashame we as a race put so many limitations on the possiblity of the human experience. Few people i believe even get near to their potential. What I probably needed was a teacher. I miss the hightened awareness because i know now im missing many things, but at the same time I'm mostly happy. Ignorance is bliss i suppose. Did you have any zen teachers Dale?
6/7/04 11:54 AM
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4 Ranges
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Edited: 07-Jun-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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I love yoga. It's crucial for my bjj.

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