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Old 10-18-2005, 05:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Are the concepts of the universal "life force" or "spiritual energy" that is part of everything that exists the same in Hinduism (prana), Buddhism (I think also prana) and Taoism (qi, chi or ki)? If not what are the differences between these mystical energy according to each religion?
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Old 10-18-2005, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Me thinks they are different names for the same thing...as we have different names for the same God...you call it tomato... quantum calls it the ether...

namaste,
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

I also think prana and chi/ki/qi are pretty much the same in general terms Ö it is the life force that animates all living things.

The term prana also refers to the five vital ďairsĒ or forces that maintain the body and govern inner physiology (sheath of vitality or pranamaya kosha). In yoga and meditation, the regulation of breathing (pranayama) is very important for relaxing the mind and is said to balance the two nerve currents known as ida and pingala.
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

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Originally Posted by wil
Me thinks they are different names for the same thing...as we have different names for the same God...you call it tomato... quantum calls it the ether...

namaste,
I'm sure all energies are the same at the fundemental level, but what about if we go deeper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnideva
I also think prana and chi/ki/qi are pretty much the same in general terms Ö it is the life force that animates all living things.

The term prana also refers to the five vital ďairsĒ or forces that maintain the body and govern inner physiology (sheath of vitality or pranamaya kosha). In yoga and meditation, the regulation of breathing (pranayama) is very important for relaxing the mind and is said to balance the two nerve currents known as ida and pingala.
Can Hindus Brahmins harness the energy as well as Shaolin Monks could? Shaolin Monks have been able to do many amazing things with the meditation and harnessment of the Qi and unwind many parts of the brain that deal with philosophy and the beyond reality perception.

It is amazing what this energy could do. I've seen Shaolin Monks suround themselves with this invisible qi energy and become so protected by the energy that even the hardest punches can hurt them. Yoga practicners have done many amazing feats as well and have pushed the boundries of pain and flexibility to a level no normal man can imagine.

An interesting question would be is a mytical energy really doing all this or is it just the power of the human mind creating an illusion that they are harnessing supernatural powers. I think it has to do with both considering are minds may play a big role in creating the energy, but it doesn't mean the energy does not exist.

Regardless of the origin of these larger than life feats, people should be doing more yoga and meditation then worshiping praying to some God named Yahweh in a church. Honestly prayer has never been proven, the only thing religion has tought as that works is yoga and meditation.
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Old 10-19-2005, 03:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Yes, yogis have also harnessed the power and done some amazing superhuman feats as well. I would agree with you that both the human mind and mystical pranic force are involved. I think the mind needs to realize first that this force exists, and second it needs to understand how to use it. (Wow! so many Star Wars parallels )

I am all for people doing more dhyana yoga. But, I think both prayer and yoga/meditation are important and useful because they involve different areas of the mind. Only when we learn to focus and calm our minds, can we begin to meditate. But, higher knowledge or enlightenment can be gained only through direct experience/realization that comes through meditation.
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnideva
Yes, yogis have also harnessed the power and done some amazing superhuman feats as well. I would agree with you that both the human mind and mystical pranic force are involved. I think the mind needs to realize first that this force exists, and second it needs to understand how to use it. (Wow! so many Star Wars parallels )

I am all for people doing more dhyana yoga. But, I think both prayer and yoga/meditation are important and useful because they involve different areas of the mind. Only when we learn to focus and calm our minds, can we begin to meditate. But, higher knowledge or enlightenment can be gained only through direct experience/realization that comes through meditation.
Yes, there are many Star Wars parallels . George Lucas was a big fan of Eastern Philosophu and religion, and it isn't hard to see why. While Abrahamic Religions teach primitive superstitious ways to reach God Eastern religions such as Hinduism have a far more complex but effective but at least proven to be more effective .

George Lucas picked many elements of jedi knights from from the Shaolin Monks of China but in reality many of the concepts are Hindu. Legand has it that Bodirama (not sure whether I spelled his name right) went to Kerela, India to learn Kalaripyttu, and ancient Kerelan martial art. He later tought this in China to Shaolin Monks while spreading Buddhism. Buddhism himself recieved most of his knowledge from Hindu metaphysics (he was afterall a Brahmin) so in actuallity all these metaphysical concepts are from Hinduism.

Well, then again I'm not too sure about Taoism. Taoism developed independent from both Hinduism and Buddhism, but I hear it has many influences within it. Can someone explain?

Agnideva, I noticed that you typed yoga with meditation as yoga/meditation. Can the term yoga be used as a sum up word for all types of Hindu meditation? If not, what is a term used to describe all of Hindu meditation and yoga?

Also, I noticed you mentioned prayer, what can be so effective about prayer? In my opinion it is a primitive unproven way to find God, it works for some but it really doesn't do anything to help you find God (except maybe create an illusion that you are talking to God). I guess prayer can be a form of meditation but I don't see how praying to some God you don't even know exists will help you . We can't assume God is there, or we will always have doubt. We must search for God IMHO .
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbackman
Agnideva, I noticed that you typed yoga with meditation as yoga/meditation. Can the term yoga be used as a sum up word for all types of Hindu meditation? If not, what is a term used to describe all of Hindu meditation and yoga?
In a word, yes. The term yoga is usually used to mean a path to God in Hinduism. The term yoga is derived from yuj which means to yoke or to unite. So, the term yoga can mean union between body and mind in the physical exercises, or the union between Soul and God in meditation. So, you will hear the term yoga being used in multiple contexts. For example, meditation is termed dhyana yoga and repetitive chanting is termed japa yoga. The inclusive term for all Hindu meditation and yoga practices is raja yoga.

Quote:
Also, I noticed you mentioned prayer, what can be so effective about prayer? In my opinion it is a primitive unproven way to find God, it works for some but it really doesn't do anything to help you find God (except maybe create an illusion that you are talking to God). I guess prayer can be a form of meditation but I don't see how praying to some God you don't even know exists will help you . We can't assume God is there, or we will always have doubt. We must search for God IMHO .
Prayer and worship too are a form of meditation because both involve focusing and calming of the mind. In Hinduism, all religious practices have only one goal - to control the mind. The mind is said to be unsteady like the wind, so one learns to concentrate, to focus, to calm the mind through prayers and worship. By prayer here, I donít mean praying for some material thing or even for oneís deliverance. What I mean is prayer for the sake of praying, for the sake of acknowledging Godís existence. I agree with you that we must each search for God, but to search for God one must truly believe that God does exist, and prayer and worship are a way for your mind to acknowledge Godís existence. Meditation also begins with prayers, and the repetitive chants used in meditation are nothing but prayers. Every time someone chants AUM, it is a prayer. The path of liberation in Hinduism is described as a stepwise process beginning with right living, followed by worshipful practices, leading to meditation, and finally resulting in Self-realization. In that regard, prayer is a type of meditative practice, and meditation is the highest form or worship or prayer.
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbackman
George Lucas picked many elements of jedi knights from from the Shaolin Monks of China but in reality many of the concepts are Hindu. Legand has it that Bodirama (not sure whether I spelled his name right) went to Kerela, India to learn Kalaripyttu, and ancient Kerelan martial art. He later tought this in China to Shaolin Monks while spreading Buddhism. Buddhism himself recieved most of his knowledge from Hindu metaphysics (he was afterall a Brahmin) so in actuallity all these metaphysical concepts are from Hinduism.
Interesting info Silver. I've heard of Bodhidharma and how he is credited with bringing Zen (Ch'an), but I didn't know he introduced martial arts to the Shaolin monks. Are there similarities between the martial arts practiced by the Shaolin monks and the Keralan martial art? And, does the Keralan martial art also involve spiritual practices, meditation, etc.?
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cool Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

As a non-traditional Christian (and non-traditional Buddhist, for that matter), might I add my $.02 on prana, and prayer? While I agree with Agnideva, I think there is a type of prayer that makes sense - infinitely more sense, in fact - to practice after we recognize and come to accept that indeed, there is a G-d.

If you think about it, this prayer will be very much as Agnideva describes. It will be selfless, and it will never be misconstrued (within one's own heart & mind) as "asking God for anything." This will have become by definition an absurdity, for one will have recognized that G-d is NOT ->
that dude up in heaven with the long flowing white beard ... sitting around bored on his throne until he is so privileged as to bend to some nice christian person's every whim, beck & call, otherwise relegated to giving wrathful, angry looks at everyone who dares question authority or skip church on Sundays.
Were Deity anything like this, we would all be better off agnostic!

But as the case may happen to be ... perhaps the great hierarchy of being is such that indeed there are animate, intelligent, loving and wise agents of G-d known vaguely to some as `angels,' and to others as devas. Perhaps these spirits do, verily, help to raise our selfless and noble aspirations "heavenward" (which means more subtle in vibration) - such that the science of prayer is 100% legitimate and effective, for one who has already accepted these things beyond a shadow of a doubt (or is earnestly working toward this condition of consciousness).

If I know that the world is more or less a globe, rather than the flat plane which our senses falsely suggest ... then before a lengthy sea voyage I will make preparations based on my knowledge of the true nature of the physical world. I will not carefully chart those areas toward the "edges" of the world so that I can avoid accidentally "falling off" and sailing headlong into death. I may, however, make note of any tropical storms, and I will certainly check my radar/sonar equipment - so that by using the accepted and proven science of the day, I might secure for myself the best possible means of having a safe and enjoyable voyage. If my intent is to sail around the globe, I will most likely ignore the pleas and exhortations of the `flatlanders' who shriek on & on about the dangers of plummeting "over the edge," and I will only have so much patience for their vain attempts to convince me of my utter stupidity in attempting my foolish mission.

Exactly thus, by science & experience, many have proven to their own satisfaction (and to that of others) long, long ago, that there is certainly a vast deva hierarchy, just as a human one ... and that a certain class of devas animate this very stuff we call the ether - or the subtle physical world. In French, the term elan vital signifies the same as prana, or chi/qi. Anyone today with a little patience and open-mindedness can step outside on a sunny day (as are conditions today where I live, fortunately), look up at the blue sky, and with a few moments of observation detect the vast, swirling movements of this same prana all throughout the sky. Some may even be sensitive enough to observe that this prana is not "out there" as it appears at first, but is in fact, all around - and interpenetrates every object including the planet itself ... such that were this not the case, we would cease to be "alive" physically speaking. What is observed, if one notices the bright, almost translucent "particles" swirling everywhere - is life itself, chi.

The process whereby these particles - termed vitality globules by C.W. Leadbeater (a clairvoyant Theosophist writing 75+ years ago) - are assimilated and distrubuted throughout the etheric body (physical "aura"), is described in careful detail (w/diagrams) in The Etheric Double by A.E. Powell. Chapters 2 & 4 show this in particular. Many clairvoyants, of varying schools of thought, have verified this research - as has contemporary, materialistic science ... though the ideas are as yet poorly organized & presented.

I find it quite amusing that skeptics will fire off a dozen or so possible explanations - determined if it kills them to slice off the plain & simple truth of the matter with Occam's ever-so-sharpened Razor, as if there were no other tool available with which to investigate an idea. Indeed, seeing is not believing. Witness for yourself. Dead skin cells, artifacts of the eye, etc., etc. I'm sure we can find plenty of plausible explanations for this matter - and yet, almost every sunny day, as the blue sky beckons, I glance up and silently acknowledge what I KNOW. Again, without this bountiful offering (a tangible Blessing for all of His manifested Solar System - direct from Surya-Aditi), there would be no life as we know it.

No "3rd eye" or psychic faculty (such as a developed Ajna centre) is used to observe vitality globules/prana, btw. The physical eye may strain somewhat, because we are attempting to observe faster rates of vibration (and subtler states of matter) than we are accustomed. (One should not strain uncomfortably, especially if this is at all painful ... lest damage result!)

We're only glimpsing the tip of the iceberg, however - and the ether within which this chi energy circulates is itself subdivided into four states of matter, complementing the three states which I learned about in school. Oh, my mistake - I guess our esteemed scientists have added a fourth - plasma. Hmmm ....

For another glimpse, afforded through the paintings of Alex Grey, visit: http://www.sacredmirrors.org/mirrors_view.html
The entire etheric body can be viewed here - including the "double," the aura, and the chakra system - with lesser nadis (energy pathways, plus lesser chakras). This is very different than the `astral body' or aura - although this, too, is animated by astral chi. The best illustration of the astral body I've ever seen - is here. Difference? Etheric/prana is strictly physical - the "health aura," or vital soul (Hebrew nephesh) vs. the astral body/aura or vehicle of emotions (Sanskrit kama-rupa).

To draw the mind, or mental body, would be to try and illustrate 5 dimensions (lovely plumage ... I mean, beautiful geometry) in 2D - and that seems a bit futile, no? But again, every vehicle is partially animated or ensouled by the vitality or chi of its own particular world - according to esoteric teachings, which the Buddhist & Hindu most closely approximate. We might say that it is the collective ensoulment of all forms in the universe (solar system) with prana, the very life essence of its informing deity (Surya-Aditi in some traditions) - on every plane or in every world of manifestation - that constitutes, by definition, a physical incarnation of G-d! Of course, this says nothing for the higher principles of deity (emotions & mind - or their perfected, Divine equivalent ... plus spiritual qualities/aspects, to wit Will, Wisdom & Intelligence). As above, so below.

Enough meandering. Namaskar,
taijasi
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnideva
In a word, yes. The term yoga is usually used to mean a path to God in Hinduism. The term yoga is derived from yuj which means to yoke or to unite. So, the term yoga can mean union between body and mind in the physical exercises, or the union between Soul and God in meditation. So, you will hear the term yoga being used in multiple contexts. For example, meditation is termed dhyana yoga and repetitive chanting is termed japa yoga. The inclusive term for all Hindu meditation and yoga practices is raja yoga.


Prayer and worship too are a form of meditation because both involve focusing and calming of the mind. In Hinduism, all religious practices have only one goal - to control the mind. The mind is said to be unsteady like the wind, so one learns to concentrate, to focus, to calm the mind through prayers and worship. By prayer here, I donít mean praying for some material thing or even for oneís deliverance. What I mean is prayer for the sake of praying, for the sake of acknowledging Godís existence. I agree with you that we must each search for God, but to search for God one must truly believe that God does exist, and prayer and worship are a way for your mind to acknowledge Godís existence. Meditation also begins with prayers, and the repetitive chants used in meditation are nothing but prayers. Every time someone chants AUM, it is a prayer. The path of liberation in Hinduism is described as a stepwise process beginning with right living, followed by worshipful practices, leading to meditation, and finally resulting in Self-realization. In that regard, prayer is a type of meditative practice, and meditation is the highest form or worship or prayer.
I've always wondered that, because I used to read bout other forms of practice such as tantras and vedenta. So if you practice Yoga you basicly practicing all the mind exercises to find God known in Hinduism, right? And if I'm correct Buddhist follow basiclly the same exact meditation practices a Hindu does considering Buddha himself was a Hindu Brahmin who more or less created a Hindu philosophy than a completly different form of meditation.

Oh and by prayer I need don't mean chanting AUM 50 times, I'm all for that. The type of prayer which I think is completly useless is the Abrahamic way of praying. Folding your hands and saying "God please do this! God please do that!" This type of prayer in my opinion is ineffective because it does nothing to strengthen your mind and acknowledge the spiritual reality of God. Not that there is anything wrong with talking to God, there is nothing wrong with that. If you are in deep meditation and you want to ask God to help heal your loved ones or something that is a bit different.

The problem with prayer in the West and Western religions such as Christianity is that many people are expecting God to do what they want and many times if their prayers do not come true they get angry at God, curse Him (or Her), and leave religion completly. This type of thing would never happen to a devout Hindu and Buddhist man who meditates often, because they gain the spiritual knowledge to know God is NOT there servant but they can learn to control aspects of God if they meditate. According to Kerlan Hindu philosophy you can become like a God through deep spiritual enlightenment and knowledge, create universes and destroy them because in the end the universe is what we percieve in our minds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnideva
Interesting info Silver. I've heard of Bodhidharma and how he is credited with bringing Zen (Ch'an), but I didn't know he introduced martial arts to the Shaolin monks. Are there similarities between the martial arts practiced by the Shaolin monks and the Keralan martial art? And, does the Keralan martial art also involve spiritual practices, meditation, etc.?
Right now it is very heatly debated on the origin of Asian martial arts in China. Although China had a few martial arts of their own such as Schoui Chou (Chinese wrestling) many of the latter martial arts does eem very similar to Kerela's martial art of Kalaripyttuu. For one Kalaripyttu is all about mind control of the mystical prana energy, similar to Shaolin monks with Chi. Like Shaolin Kung Fu there is a big emphasize on weapons training, although Shaolins use more Chinese weapons (obviously ). Thirdly Kalaripyttuu is often tought to young children at a young age for the same reasons why Shaolin monks are only accepted kids as new monks. There are many other style differences between the two arts, but both seem pretty similar. Kalaripyttuu is regarded to many as India's best martial art and considering Bodhidharma came most likelly from India he most likelly learned all the martial arts from South India and later teaches it to Shaolin Monks.

Right now we can't know for sure, perhaps God will reveal himself soon is his third form .
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by taijasi
As a non-traditional Christian (and non-traditional Buddhist, for that matter), might I add my $.02 on prana, and prayer? While I agree with Agnideva, I think there is a type of prayer that makes sense - infinitely more sense, in fact - to practice after we recognize and come to accept that indeed, there is a G-d.

If you think about it, this prayer will be very much as Agnideva describes. It will be selfless, and it will never be misconstrued (within one's own heart & mind) as "asking God for anything." This will have become by definition an absurdity, for one will have recognized that G-d is NOT ->
that dude up in heaven with the long flowing white beard ... sitting around bored on his throne until he is so privileged as to bend to some nice christian person's every whim, beck & call, otherwise relegated to giving wrathful, angry looks at everyone who dares question authority or skip church on Sundays.
Were Deity anything like this, we would all be better off agnostic!

But as the case may happen to be ... perhaps the great hierarchy of being is such that indeed there are animate, intelligent, loving and wise agents of G-d known vaguely to some as `angels,' and to others as devas. Perhaps these spirits do, verily, help to raise our selfless and noble aspirations "heavenward" (which means more subtle in vibration) - such that the science of prayer is 100% legitimate and effective, for one who has already accepted these things beyond a shadow of a doubt (or is earnestly working toward this condition of consciousness).

If I know that the world is more or less a globe, rather than the flat plane which our senses falsely suggest ... then before a lengthy sea voyage I will make preparations based on my knowledge of the true nature of the physical world. I will not carefully chart those areas toward the "edges" of the world so that I can avoid accidentally "falling off" and sailing headlong into death. I may, however, make note of any tropical storms, and I will certainly check my radar/sonar equipment - so that by using the accepted and proven science of the day, I might secure for myself the best possible means of having a safe and enjoyable voyage. If my intent is to sail around the globe, I will most likely ignore the pleas and exhortations of the `flatlanders' who shriek on & on about the dangers of plummeting "over the edge," and I will only have so much patience for their vain attempts to convince me of my utter stupidity in attempting my foolish mission.

Exactly thus, by science & experience, many have proven to their own satisfaction (and to that of others) long, long ago, that there is certainly a vast deva hierarchy, just as a human one ... and that a certain class of devas animate this very stuff we call the ether - or the subtle physical world. In French, the term elan vital signifies the same as prana, or chi/qi. Anyone today with a little patience and open-mindedness can step outside on a sunny day (as are conditions today where I live, fortunately), look up at the blue sky, and with a few moments of observation detect the vast, swirling movements of this same prana all throughout the sky. Some may even be sensitive enough to observe that this prana is not "out there" as it appears at first, but is in fact, all around - and interpenetrates every object including the planet itself ... such that were this not the case, we would cease to be "alive" physically speaking. What is observed, if one notices the bright, almost translucent "particles" swirling everywhere - is life itself, chi.

The process whereby these particles - termed vitality globules by C.W. Leadbeater (a clairvoyant Theosophist writing 75+ years ago) - are assimilated and distrubuted throughout the etheric body (physical "aura"), is described in careful detail (w/diagrams) in The Etheric Double by A.E. Powell. Chapters 2 & 4 show this in particular. Many clairvoyants, of varying schools of thought, have verified this research - as has contemporary, materialistic science ... though the ideas are as yet poorly organized & presented.

I find it quite amusing that skeptics will fire off a dozen or so possible explanations - determined if it kills them to slice off the plain & simple truth of the matter with Occam's ever-so-sharpened Razor, as if there were no other tool available with which to investigate an idea. Indeed, seeing is not believing. Witness for yourself. Dead skin cells, artifacts of the eye, etc., etc. I'm sure we can find plenty of plausible explanations for this matter - and yet, almost every sunny day, as the blue sky beckons, I glance up and silently acknowledge what I KNOW. Again, without this bountiful offering (a tangible Blessing for all of His manifested Solar System - direct from Surya-Aditi), there would be no life as we know it.

No "3rd eye" or psychic faculty (such as a developed Ajna centre) is used to observe vitality globules/prana, btw. The physical eye may strain somewhat, because we are attempting to observe faster rates of vibration (and subtler states of matter) than we are accustomed. (One should not strain uncomfortably, especially if this is at all painful ... lest damage result!)

We're only glimpsing the tip of the iceberg, however - and the ether within which this chi energy circulates is itself subdivided into four states of matter, complementing the three states which I learned about in school. Oh, my mistake - I guess our esteemed scientists have added a fourth - plasma. Hmmm ....

For another glimpse, afforded through the paintings of Alex Grey, visit: http://www.sacredmirrors.org/mirrors_view.html
The entire etheric body can be viewed here - including the "double," the aura, and the chakra system - with lesser nadis (energy pathways, plus lesser chakras). This is very different than the `astral body' or aura - although this, too, is animated by astral chi. The best illustration of the astral body I've ever seen - is here. Difference? Etheric/prana is strictly physical - the "health aura," or vital soul (Hebrew nephesh) vs. the astral body/aura or vehicle of emotions (Sanskrit kama-rupa).

To draw the mind, or mental body, would be to try and illustrate 5 dimensions (lovely plumage ... I mean, beautiful geometry) in 2D - and that seems a bit futile, no? But again, every vehicle is partially animated or ensouled by the vitality or chi of its own particular world - according to esoteric teachings, which the Buddhist & Hindu most closely approximate. We might say that it is the collective ensoulment of all forms in the universe (solar system) with prana, the very life essence of its informing deity (Surya-Aditi in some traditions) - on every plane or in every world of manifestation - that constitutes, by definition, a physical incarnation of G-d! Of course, this says nothing for the higher principles of deity (emotions & mind - or their perfected, Divine equivalent ... plus spiritual qualities/aspects, to wit Will, Wisdom & Intelligence). As above, so below.

Enough meandering. Namaskar,
taijasi
I agree mostly, especially on your analogy of God being some dude with a white beard who sits in heaven throwing people into hell and pushing people into heaven is a very big odity to a freethinker. God for one is not a person or an object, but and idea or philosophy. Humans ever since we gained the awareness we do about our enviroment have been thirsting for transcendal truth which is God, and as a result based on our experiances and beliefs the many religions were created. I do believe as time went by we have evolved spiritually. For one thousands of years ago people followed many Gods, the furthest from the truth but on the right road. These Odinists and and Zeus followers were still important because they are the first steps on the path to God. Then came the monotheistic giants today called Christianity and Islam. They went a step further to the truth, realizing that there is one God and did develop some ideas toward better spiritual enlightenment lacking previous religions. In this day and age these religions still have a major influence on the world but they are starting to decline in numbers. Humans have reached a stage in history that now we have science to explain physical reality, and spiritualism to explain the beyond human senses. While Christianity and Islam do share a belief in One God, they will not survive long in the information age because their views even today contradict scientists who in reality have the highest say on what is valid in the universe. Who opposes evolution? Mainly Christian creationist do. That really says a lot. Who knows more about physcial reality? A scientists does! There is no way around it, while religious clerics may know more about the world beyond, but if they are going to try to act as if they know more about physical reality than scientists, that really shows false the religion is. It is nothing more in many ways than any other religion of past.

Hinduism and Buddhism still contain many philsophical aspects that are used in modern day philosophy. While, for example, Hinduism maybe be shrowded in mythology it doesn't change the facts that the fundementals in Hinduism are the future of religion. At the fundemental level Hinduism teaches about the Brahman, the ultimate reality that is more of a spiritual force than some deity .

In my honest opinion, this is how I view God. God is One, God is ultimate reality that reveals himself in 3 forms of reality (or mini-Gods): Physical Reality (Reality of all matter, space, and anything with a mass that takes up space and observable) Time Reality (Truth of time such as history, present, and the future) and Spiritual Reality (Reality of the spirtual energy that and fundemental truths of the universe and possibly the multiverse). Of all the realities (or "Gods") I mentioned spiritual reality is the hardest reality to sense and it is impossible for the human mind to trully know it. Through Yoga and meditation we can however reach to some realization in the life, but in truth the fundementals of the universe that only exists within spirtual reality can never be known completly. It maybe not impossible, perhaps Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna found these truths on Earth, a peace we rarelly find.

Sorry if my explaination was a bit confusing, I'm hella sleepy right now considering it's 3:30 AM in the morning! I will explain more on my beliefs later, such as my belief that scientists and historians are or as much religious preists as Christian pastors (I think you know where I am going with that ).
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Old 10-20-2005, 03:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

Namaste Taijasi.
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Originally Posted by taijasi
As a non-traditional Christian (and non-traditional Buddhist, for that matter), might I add my $.02 on prana, and prayer? While I agree with Agnideva, I think there is a type of prayer that makes sense - infinitely more sense, in fact - to practice after we recognize and come to accept that indeed, there is a G-d.

I essentially agree with the points you raised. Prayer and worship evolve as we evolve spiritually. In the beginning, prayer is somewhat selfish: ďGod give me this, God give me that.Ē But as we develop spiritually and actually experience the Truth, prayer and worship make much more sense and become selfless. The ideal is not to give up the path of good works, prayer or worship after recognizing and experiencing the Divine through meditation, but to continue it. In fact, prayer becomes that much more meaningful afterwards like you said.

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If you think about it, this prayer will be very much as Agnideva describes. It will be selfless, and it will never be misconstrued (within one's own heart & mind) as "asking God for anything." This will have become by definition an absurdity, for one will have recognized that G-d is NOT ->
This type of selfless prayer is really not even possible until you get to that stage . Even though we may strive to be selfless in our prayers, at times of trouble, we canít help but ask God for help.
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Were Deity anything like this, we would all be better off agnostic!

Iíve never been able to believe in a God who ďis watching us from a distance.Ē I personally subscribe to the idea of a transcendent-imminent God who is separate yet inseparable from creation. Siva Yogaswami, a great sage from Sri Lanka, used to teach his followers this point by saying, ďof all the great things God can do, there is one thing He cannot do: He cannot separate Himself from you.Ē
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But as the case may happen to be ... perhaps the great hierarchy of being is such that indeed there are animate, intelligent, loving and wise agents of G-d known vaguely to some as `angels,' and to others as devas. Perhaps these spirits do, verily, help to raise our selfless and noble aspirations "heavenward" (which means more subtle in vibration) - such that the science of prayer is 100% legitimate and effective, for one who has already accepted these things beyond a shadow of a doubt (or is earnestly working toward this condition of consciousness).
Youíve hit the nail right on the head as far as traditional Hinduism is concerned. There is a whole hierarchy of beings inhabiting different worlds within creation. Some are angelic beings called Devas, and there are archangelic beings called Mahadevas. Hindu worship and prayer are directed toward not only God, but also the Mahadevas like Ganesha, Kartikeya and Hanuman - this is permitted and encouraged. The purpose of the Mahadevas is to help, inspire, and guide the worshipper not only into spiritual progress, but also toward the resolution of karmic debts. It is also the Mahadevas who help the meditator to reach deeper states of consciousness, and eventually to Self-realization. In other words, one does not travel alone on the spiritual path, but is guided along the way.

Regards.
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Old 10-20-2005, 03:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

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I've always wondered that, because I used to read bout other forms of practice such as tantras and vedenta. So if you practice Yoga you basicly practicing all the mind exercises to find God known in Hinduism, right?
Basically yes, but I donít mean the physical exercises known as yogaasana ... these are done to stabilize the mind and body to enable meditation and contemplation. Any practice that is meant to lead to a union between the soul and God can be termed Yoga. So there are four primary yoga paths: bhakti yoga - yoga of devotion, karma yoga - yoga of right actions, jnana yoga - yoga of knowledge, raja yoga - yoga of contemplation/meditation. The purpose of all four is ultimately the same.
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Oh and by prayer I need don't mean chanting AUM 50 times, I'm all for that. The type of prayer which I think is completly useless is the Abrahamic way of praying. Folding your hands and saying "God please do this! God please do that!" This type of prayer in my opinion is ineffective because it does nothing to strengthen your mind and acknowledge the spiritual reality of God. Not that there is anything wrong with talking to God, there is nothing wrong with that. If you are in deep meditation and you want to ask God to help heal your loved ones or something that is a bit different.
You will find this kind of prayer in all religions. I donít really see a problem in this type of prayer. I think humans need this kind of prayer because we need to acknowledge that there is force greater us who is omnipotent. It is a stage of development along the path of the spiritual evolution. Granted that prayers may or may not come true, and when they do, you donít really know if God made them come true or not. Although this type of prayer is selfish, if nothing else it strengthens peopleís faith in the existence of God. Since the existence of God cannot be proven by material means, one has to first cultivate a firm belief that God does exist. Once one realizes the Truth, all the other means of communion with God are seen as valid - this is what the masters have said. Those who have come to the realization see the true meaning of prayer and worship and, therefore, do not condemn rituals or prayers, but encourage them. An important point to consider is that all people may not be ready for meditation quite yet. So they develop through prayers and ritual worship. Once one gains Self-realization, then only do the prayers and ritual worship become selfless actions, and become much more meaningful to that person, as Taijasi pointed out. This is why realized yogis do not condemn rituals and prayers, but practice it themselves.

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The problem with prayer in the West and Western religions such as Christianity is that many people are expecting God to do what they want and many times if their prayers do not come true they get angry at God, curse Him (or Her), and leave religion completly. This type of thing would never happen to a devout Hindu and Buddhist man ...
If this is true, then the reason is karma. If you believe in karma, then you cannot really believe God giveth, God taketh away. So, you can pray all you want, but if your prayers donít come true, thereís no point in blaming God. God does not absolve karma, and neither do pilgrimages, dips in a holy rivers, rituals, prayers, etc. All these practices only help a person get spiritually closer to God. They also inspire the person to lead a better life and resolve her/his karmas.
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Old 10-24-2005, 12:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

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Originally Posted by Agnideva
Basically yes, but I donít mean the physical exercises known as yogaasana ... these are done to stabilize the mind and body to enable meditation and contemplation. Any practice that is meant to lead to a union between the soul and God can be termed Yoga. So there are four primary yoga paths: bhakti yoga - yoga of devotion, karma yoga - yoga of right actions, jnana yoga - yoga of knowledge, raja yoga - yoga of contemplation/meditation. The purpose of all four is ultimately the same.

You will find this kind of prayer in all religions. I donít really see a problem in this type of prayer. I think humans need this kind of prayer because we need to acknowledge that there is force greater us who is omnipotent. It is a stage of development along the path of the spiritual evolution. Granted that prayers may or may not come true, and when they do, you donít really know if God made them come true or not. Although this type of prayer is selfish, if nothing else it strengthens peopleís faith in the existence of God. Since the existence of God cannot be proven by material means, one has to first cultivate a firm belief that God does exist. Once one realizes the Truth, all the other means of communion with God are seen as valid - this is what the masters have said. Those who have come to the realization see the true meaning of prayer and worship and, therefore, do not condemn rituals or prayers, but encourage them. An important point to consider is that all people may not be ready for meditation quite yet. So they develop through prayers and ritual worship. Once one gains Self-realization, then only do the prayers and ritual worship become selfless actions, and become much more meaningful to that person, as Taijasi pointed out. This is why realized yogis do not condemn rituals and prayers, but practice it themselves.


If this is true, then the reason is karma. If you believe in karma, then you cannot really believe God giveth, God taketh away. So, you can pray all you want, but if your prayers donít come true, thereís no point in blaming God. God does not absolve karma, and neither do pilgrimages, dips in a holy rivers, rituals, prayers, etc. All these practices only help a person get spiritually closer to God. They also inspire the person to lead a better life and resolve her/his karmas.
I know prayer is in all religions but it doesn't make it necessarily a good thing. Not that it is a bad thing, it is just that it is sort of an illusion. We are in a day and age where do not need an illusion. Now I think prayer could be effective for people to pray to God in private or under intense meditation, just as long as they don't dull their minds andride everything on it.

Prayer is okay but it cannot be given nearly the importance of yoga and meditation. We all know prayer does not help you search for God. Talking to God is okay but like worshipping and idol it won't help you find God. God can only be found by gaining knowledge, both by studying science and history as well as searching for God in meditation and yoga.
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Old 10-24-2005, 12:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Hindu Prana, Buddhist Prana, and Taoist Qi the same energy?

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Originally Posted by Silverbackman
Talking to God is okay but like worshipping and idol it won't help you find God. God can only be found by gaining knowledge, both by studying science and history as well as searching for God in meditation and yoga.
I can only assume that you dont understand the true beauty of prayer (and idol worship). A person can NEVER know God without true devotion and love - what we know as "bhakti". Prayer is expressing your bhakti/ devotion/ love to God. You can sit with as many different holy books and read them as long as you want. But without the love of God in your heart it will not take you anywhere.

We have a huge tradition of bhakti saints in Hinduism (Meera bai, Kabir das, Tulsi das, Kanaka dasa, etc, etc, etc) and they have all taught love/ devotion/ prayer/ bhakti as a way of attaining God.
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