Notes from Chapters 1 to 18

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    Tao Te Ching: Meditation with Bruce Frantzis

    Chapter 1
    You are alive, you are dead. Find the space they both come out of.
    Inhale the force of life, Exhale, notice what life ceasing means
    Up the center of your body, let life explode inside you
    On the changeover between the inhale and exhale, let life and death merge.

    Chapter 2
    Hope and Fear
    Inhale hope, exhale fear. Then reverse. Inhale fear, exhale hope.
    Breathe from your nose down the central channel to your Dantien.
    Let them mix. Your mind lets go of tensions as your body does.

    Chapter 3
    Wanting and Expectations
    Practice Non-Action
    “Am I willing?”
    1. Empty the heart, think of something you want
    2. “Let go” of this idea-no ambition, expectation, grief
    3. Let your heart open-empty your heart-Letting go of what you can
    4. Fortify the belly
    5. Energy will spew out of the belly to bones, to the entire body, and to the bone marrow.

    Chapter 4
    Emptiness(Part 1)
    Inner Dissolving
    (read his books) Tao of Letting Go (Part1) The Great Stillness (Part 2)
    Take something in your life that is sharp. Focus on it. Notice how it exists in immense space.
    Ice to Water, Water to Inner Space
    Everything that is bound or sharp, keep on letting go until it relaxes.
    Relax any sense of fullness.
    The center of the ejing is Empty. Energy without an origin
    There are a variety of ways this center will appear to you—light, vibration etc.

    Chapter 5
    Emptiness (Part 2)
    Recognize the emptiness that IS
    Let your mind focus on anything that comes in. And let it go on its own accord.
    Focus thoughts, feelings, sensations, energy—Let it come in and let it go. Moving through all its cycles.
    Keep letting go—no force
    Be present to it. (Hopes, greed, wanting, relationships etc.) Notice what is happening and how it goes away. What remains? And what comes out of it. Immerse yourself in it.

    Chapter 6
    The Great Yin of Non duality
    Yin is given the primary role in Taoism
    The Valley Spirit never dies. It is called the Mysterious Female
    Becoming soft allows what is possible to grow
    This could be useful in our current lives.
    Yin is the road from relaxation to effortless awareness.

    Relax your body, relax your mind, notice everything that can cause tension
    Dissolve ice to water to inner space
    Put deliberate energy into this relaxation until you reach a certain point.
    Then let go of your need for anything to happen.
    Relax and soften. Recognize the emptiness where effortlessness begins.

    Chapter 7
    Find Balance. Sit, Relax and Chill Out
    Continuous influences are coming into you 24 hours a day. Recognize these influences and dissolve them. Ask, “Do I trust it?” “Flow” within.
    Yin (Earth) (Permanent) Yang (Heaven) (Everlasting)

    Chapter 8
    “Let go of anything you can.”
    Observe, recognize, and feel the fluids in your body. Without doing anything, let it be there. Nothing needs to happen.

    Chapter 9
    We are going back to the first step of recognizing what is in you. Sit up straight
    Feel from top of your head to lower dantien. Then go down slowly.
    Is it balanced or unbalanced? What is stuck? Is it too Yang or too Yin?

    Chapter 10
    Taoist Breathing
    Notice how hard or soft your breath is. Where does your breath hit a wall? Make the quality of your breath go soft. Softness is a Yin force. Soften your breath and soften the place where it is stuck.

    Chapter 11
    There is a quality inside the breath that is emptiness.
    Ice to water, water to space. Find what seems to be frozen. Be present.

    Chapter 12
    Quieting the Heart. Sit and just breathe. Eyes closed. Feel what emotions are happening inside your body, what thoughts… Let energy drop from crown of head to your heart. Find something hovering or stopping. Let everything go. Then with open eyes, let what you are seeing out there come into your body. Go down to your throat at first. Later you can get down to your heart.

    Chapter 13
    Sit Up, Be Comfortable, and Breathe. Dissolve until your system goes quiet.
    Look at a physical object. With your eyes on the inhale bring that essence into your body. On the exhale have a sense of your energy going out a foot or two. Let the meaning go. Let anything go. You will eventually see the essence.

    Chapter 14
    Focus on some emotion. Observe it. Switch from one emotion to another. Find the thread that connects these emotions. Something continues. Keep the thread. Going from one place to another there should be no stoppage (like in Tai Chi). Mind must be calm, collected, and relaxed. Maintain the “golden thread”. This thread is a different kind of emotion unlike any ordinary emotion.

    Chapter 15
    Breathing as in the Meditation Circle
    Sit straight but not being perfect, 70% rule, Notice compulsions to be perfect.
    Everyone must find this balance with the least effort. Keep your breathing soft. Be awake and aware. How long do you inhale and exhale? Find that place where there is no pressure.

    Chapter 16
    Sit quietly and be with yourself. Recognize what is happening. Give up the curiosity to know and give up the need to be in control. Recognize everything but don’t analyze it. Like a stone dropped in a pond, let stillness build. “Watch the show”, “Be Mindless”, “Stay with it”, and “Relax into the Mystery”. First step have eyes closed. When comfortable have eyes open. Everything is changing, but find the unchangeable place where it comes out of.

    Chapter 17
    Have you ever explored your values? The life you want to be drawn into. The Taoist teaching on morality is similar to the Western view. Meditate on the degree of truth you tell? Compare the two sides. It matters very much or it doesn’t really matter. Dissolve any energy that comes up.

    Chapter 18
    Move from the mind of man to the mind of the Tao with this Agenda Practice. Pick some decision point in your life-large or small. Engage the process, “Am I willing?” Breathe to all body parts, dissolve, pay attention to what your body tells you. Don’t try to figure it out, or whether you “want to” but “Are you willing?” What ‘s inside of you will emerge.

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