craig mallett

The Problem with Language

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Craig Mallett     We (modern) humans have a great tendency to want to categorize things to make sense of them, and I dare say it’s linked directly to our allergy of the mysterious and unknown. Every week I run into the inevitable “so what do you do” question, and as I start my attempt […]

Cultivating a Skeptical Mind

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Craig Mallett   Despite diving quite deeply into an esoteric tradition of spiritual cultivation, I was and still am a very skeptical person by nature. If someone talks to me toting stories about enlightenment and energetic prowess, I’m even now usually inclined towards doubt, or at the very least to see it as just a […]

Clarifying Motivations & Losing Expectations

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Craig Mallett   Our imagination and dreams, linked to the hun and the wood energy, are an important tool for driving us to accomplish things in our lives. Without dreams for a better world we would hardly be motivated to get up and do stuff, and would become stuck in a big stagnation. The modern […]

Keys to Longevity

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Craig Mallett   Cultivation and longevity are not simple matters of “do this one trick and all your problems go away”. Like cultivating a garden, it takes regular attending to, and a slow understanding of context that means rules shift and change depending on circumstances. We can have guidelines, but there are no “if x, […]

An Introduction to Daoist Training

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Craig Mallett What on earth is a Daoist? Why train in this strange Daoist way?    After 20 odd years of training, it is often easy to forget that most people haven’t even heard of half of the things that I completely take for granted. Many of my friends are talented teachers in various niches […]

Am I Doing It Right?

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Craig Mallett   One of the most common questions I get when teaching people new to the Daoist approach is “am I doing it right?” While perfectly understandable in a modern world that encourages us all to not ever feel like we’re good enough (the honest answer “no, it’s terrible because you’re a beginner and […]

Removing, Not Adding

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Craig Mallett   We often say in the tradition that the Daoist way is one of removing, not adding. Yet the first thing we do is learn a million practices. So what do we mean by this? It’s useful to remind ourselves that the exercises (and the way we exercise) are the tools we use to aid […]

A Daoist’s Thoughts on Food

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Craig Mallett   I wanted to put together a basic guide on food and dieting from my understanding of the Daoist perspective. Although there are 20 million ideas about how to eat well these days, the Daoist way has been well established for many hundreds if not thousands of years, and so isn’t at the […]

A Daoist Perspective on Choice, Values, and the Virus

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Craig Mallett   I’ve had a good amount of people ask me what the Daoist view of the current situation with viruses and vaccines and lockdowns and so on is, so I thought I’d reiterate the main points I keep making with people by writing a juicy article. The Da Xuan tradition differs from many […]

The Beginner’s Mind

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Craig Mallett   Following on from the previous post, I wanted to talk this month about a concept that often gets referred to as beginner’s mind. It’s a simple idea, a way of looking at things as if we were a beginner or a child, seeing them full of wonder and possibility rather than writing […]

Marshmallows & Momentum

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Craig Mallett   The image of the dynamo is used in Da Xuan to give a feeling of how the training gets started. In the beginning, it takes quite a bit of willpower, effort and juice to get going, but at some point the momentum of your efforts begin to make the practices move themselves. […]

Daoist Self-Cultivation

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Craig Mallett   One of the major attractions I had to Da Xuan Daoism as a system of self-cultivation is that there is not really any fixed idea of how a person should act or behave. Despite this lack of pre-determined behavioural ideas, there is still the idea that we can always evolve and improve […]

Breath, Energy, & Upheaval

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Craig Mallett   Breathing is a big topic in the Da Xuan tradition. When we look at the view that the tradition takes of the human being, we see it split into thirds. One third is the physical aspect (Jing), which is all about the cultivation of the body. As the body is material and […]

Circulation of Importance

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Craig Mallett   Health and wellbeing are interesting words. We tend to throw them around assuming we are all meaning the same thing, but upon closer consideration it becomes clear that they are entirely dependent on the context of what that individual considers to be important. Some people think being healthy means to be able […]

Balancing Yin & Yang

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Craig Mallett   The concept of balancing Yin and Yang is central to Daoist thought. It’s this idea that orients us in our practice, asking us to not give one side of the coin more importance than the other. The Yin is more manifested, but more limited. It is the structure, the physical body, the […]

Training the Mind & Meditation

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Craig Mallett   Chris contacted me recently to see if I wanted to share anything on this page from my new book, Dancing Between the Opposites: A Daoist Guide to Balance and Self-Cultivation, in celebration of its recent release. With Covid forcing many people to stay inside and spend a lot of time with themselves, […]

Thresholds

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Craig Mallett   Ideas and concepts can help us consider things we may have missed and can often lead to adjustments in training methods that can make a significant difference to the results of our practice. As much as I talk about getting on with training and not overthinking too much, it is still very […]

Tension

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Craig Mallett   My studies in self development have been long and varied, spanning (so far) over 16 years and including forays into traditional Chinese martial arts, gymnastic strength training, flexibility and mobility of many kinds, natural movement, parkour, dance, movement culture, and the more popularized forms of strength and conditioning training. In the last […]

Opening the Potential

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Craig Mallett   Over the many years I have been training and teaching I have regularly observed a phenomenon that I would probably call “being a try-hard” if it were still the mid-90s. But it’s 2018 so it’s probably more prudent to call it something like over-trying. It is the act of pressuring one’s self […]

Energy & Personal Resources

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Craig Mallett   I think it’s safe to say that everyone understands and has had their own experience of energy at the very least in the general sense.  I’m talking about feeling energetic, as in being alert and ready to do a lot of things whether they are physical or mental. On the flip side […]