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About Billa

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    Daoism, gnostic mysticism, sufism, mental health, neuroscience, biohacking, blah blah

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  1. Very eloquently explained! Thanks for sharing
  2. Billa

    TTC Chapter 13

    Really like this analogy here.
  3. I agree that if these practices weren't in place, all hell would break loose. They do serve a purpose. I guess it comes down to those of us who can see through it and embody actions from a place beyond these dualistic constructs, reinforcing what @Tuesday was saying about just working on yourself to change the world.
  4. I can't really comment on the phonetic aspects of it, haven't read up on it that much. Well, I live in Pakistan here. People do try to pray 5 times a day, and others do charity and so on. But at times I feel like it's more religiosity and just mere ritual without much awareness to the inner aspects of these things. Like we're taught this concept of Sawab which means 'rewards/spiritual merits' for doing good deeds. So a lot of people just look at it from a mathematical or economic perspective, like trying to balance a weighing scale of good deeds and bad deeds, not looking at the deeper aspects of these things. There's a concept called 'Huqooq e Allah' aka 'Rights/ Responsibilities to Allah' which is contrasted by 'Huqooq ul Ibad' aka 'Rights/ Responsibilities to fellow men/mankind'. People would pray in the mosque, come out and start swearing in their conversations or straight up lie while selling their goods. So there's a deep schism between the two. I feel like at least here, the focus is how to get to heaven while making life for others, a complete hell loool. I mean the earthly aspects and how to live on earth in a balanced way is majorly neglected in daily life. Sorry if this sounds like a rant. I may be generalizing and overmagnifying these issues.
  5. Sharing this couplet from Sufi mystic and Poet Bulleh Shah. This is a transliteration from Punjabi, in which it was originally spoken. Although I've always had more of a Daoist bent of mind, I've always been very curious about different Islamic traditions, particularly Sufi orders and masters that have inhabited the Subcontinent(India & Pakistan). To me, they represent the wheat that's left of what comprises of Islamic practices. This particular couplet has been relevant to me in recent times, so sharing it here. Punjabi: 'Eko Alif terey darkar, Ilmoun bas kari oo yaar' Transliteration: "One Alif is all you need, Forget the pride in your knowledge, O Friend." Alif here refers to the arabic letter Alif which is written like 1 with a left to right inversion. It represents the unity of God and is the first letter of the arabic alphabet. More information here: - I feel it's more about letting go of accumulating knowledge and dropping away unnecessary intellectualization. Letting the Tao/God guide you to your salvation.
  6. Billa

    TTC Chapter 7

    Thank you for this Tom. Really liked the Creation post.
  7. Billa

    Peace pilgrim

    Watched this yesterday again. Her message is simple but very potent. Particularly, the renunciation and no BS aspect of it really resonates with me.
  8. Just posting the link without the 'http' into the browser does the trick.
  9. Thanks for the detailed post @FaXin! However, your initial post seems more relevant at this point. Experimenting with Dzogchen, I'm learning that just letting go and residing is the path of least resistance for me at the moment. Interesting that you've looked at your Tai chi practice as play. Need to give that approach a shot perhaps.
  10. Cool post @dorothy! Welcome
  11. Thank you @FaXin, @Tom and @S1va for your valuable input. I am going through what you have said intuitively and trying to see what works best for me. Experimenting with dzogchen and mindfulness for now. It has opened up some breathing space for me. Will update you guys when I have less on my plate and new stuff to share. <3
  12. Hello. So its been a little over an year that I have been on LU and doing light work with Jeff and Tom. Previously before that I was more focused on the heart center and was stuck in 'receptive' mode as they say. I was doing some basic qigong and breathing practices at the time to keep myself afloat. Now, I have become more mentally centered or rather I notice that issues arise at the level of the mind. I have also been out of touch with regular 'bottom-up' practices like qigong/yoga which would've previously helped me move the energy and relax. Ofcourse I understand that I am clearing issues on a different level now, so how these practices work on the mind-body unit changes. I have noticed at times, my breathing becomes difficult with qigong practices especially when I am holding on to issues. My question is, what practices helped you guys out or assisted you on your journey? Like aside from dropping issues and letting go of attachments on the mind level, which practices were a good adjunct to the usual light work in clearing of issues and become more centered in the body or rather quiet the mind. Thanks! I hope I haven't muddled the question too much.
  13. Welcome! Indeed. There's a similar practice called 'Hifz' in Islam whereby they learn the whole Koran by heart and can recite it in a similar fashion. I assume it would result in more or less the same changes.
  14. Cool article that I recently came across. 'India's Vedic Sanskrit pandits train for years to orally memorize and exactly recite 3,000-year old oral texts ranging from 40,000 to over 100,000 words. We wanted to find out how such intense verbal memory training affects the physical structure of their brains. Through the India-Trento Partnership for Advanced Research (ITPAR), we recruited professional Vedic pandits from several government-sponsored schools in the Delhi region; then we used structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at India’s National Brain Research Center to scan the brains of pandits and controls matched for age, gender, handedness, eye-dominance and multilingualism. What we discovered from the structural MRI scanning was remarkable. Numerous regions in the brains of the pandits were dramatically larger than those of controls, with over 10 percent more grey matter across both cerebral hemispheres, and substantial increases in cortical thickness. Although the exact cellular underpinnings of gray matter and cortical thickness measures are still under investigation, increases in these metrics consistently correlate with enhanced cognitive function. Most interestingly for verbal memory was that the pandits' right hippocampus—a region of the brain that plays a vital role in both short and long-term memory—had more gray matter than controls across nearly 75 percent of this subcortical structure. Our brains have two hippocampi, one on the left and one on the right, and without them we cannot record any new information. Many memory functions are shared by the two hippocampi. The right is, however, more specialized for patterns, whether sound, spatial or visual, so the large gray matter increases we found in the pandits’ right hippocampus made sense: accurate recitation requires highly precise sound pattern encoding and reproduction. The pandits also showed substantially thickening of right temporal cortex regions that are associated with speech prosody and voice identity.' '
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