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November 28, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (13)

This article is translation of Koichi Tohei sensei's book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)". We will upload new article every Monday.

Shinichi Tohei


I will explain some important points with Ki Testing. It is not important if you move or not move. When you receive Ki test, you can resist “not to move” intentionally. However, if you think “do not move”, you become tense and as a result, you loose natural stability. There is no value in trying to not move. The posture which is in harmony with the Universe or the posture with oneness of mind and body has natural stability. If your posture is correct, your posture is naturally stable. You do not have to brace yourself. The posture with oneness of mind and body is not only stable but allows you to move at anytime. If your body is tense, you cannot move freely at any time. If you tense your muscles in your legs or lower abdomen, you cannot be stable and cannot move freely. The posture in harmony with the Universe is the posture with oneness of mind and body. In this posture natural stability is kept and you can move anytime quickly. Let's do Ki test while sitting (Seiza).

First, rise on your knees as shown in the photo. Many people have a habit of putting their chest out and becoming tense. Move your shoulders up and down. You must move only your shoulder. You will find that it is difficult to move your shoulders up and down when you are tense.
On the other hand, if you have a hunched posture, it is difficult to move your shoulders up and down. The position that allows you to move your shoulders up and down the easiest is the natural position of the shoulder.
Next, sit down calmly. When you sit down, please do not push down on your lower body. When you sit, cross your big toes, one over the other. It does not matter which toe is above.
Check to be sure that you move your shoulders up and down several times. Put your hand on your lap lightly. Do not push down. When you receive Ki test, you will find that you are stable naturally without trying to not move. This is Seiza (sitting) posture with oneness of mind and body.

How to sit seiza correctly
1.How_to_sit_seiza_correctly_1_2 

2.How_to_sit_seiza_correctly_2
3.How_to_sit_seiza_correctly_3

First photo: Rise on your knees. Move your shoulders up and down several times to find a posture where you can do it easily. You should be sitting with your feet up.
Second photo: Sit seiza lightly. Check to be sure that you move your shoulders up and down several times. Put your hand on your lap lightly. Do not push down. Your toes cross, one on top of the other lightly.
Third photo: When you receive Ki test, you will find that you are stable naturally, without thinking to not move.

Seen from the back
1.Seen_from_the_back_1

2.Seen_from_the_back_2
3.Seen_from_the_back_3

Second photo: Your right first toes overlaps with left first toe lightly. It does not matter which toe is above or below.
Third photo: You will sit down calmly. Then, move your shoulders up and down several times. Put your hand on your lap lightly.

Seen from the side
1.Seen_from_the_side_1

2.Seen_from_the_side_2

3.Seen_from_the_side_3_2

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November 24, 2005

The correct image

Let’s think about the image which we have of ourselves.

We all have a self-image which we build up by ourselves, and also an image placed upon us by others, which we have unconsciously accepted.

The important thing is that human beings be sure their image they adopt is natural and true.
“Mind moves body” Therefore, it is natural that our image controls our actions.

“Mind moves body” is Ki principle.

Let me give you an example:

When I talked with one of the staff the other day, I had a realization.

This staff person started to have followers since last year. That means this staff person is not just a senior worker but a boss.

This staff person works very hard. However, he does not have a very good reputation, especially from other staff members.

I heard about this and so I had a talk with this particular staff person who has recently become a boss.

I found that his image of “boss” and mine were very much different.

What do you think the difference was?

The staff person thought that the boss should manage his followers’ work. Therefore, he tried his best to do this.

Certainly, managing others work is one of the jobs of a boss. However, a boss’s work is not only the management of followers.

The boss has a responsibility to create an environment for the workers, provide fair assessment, work together when followers have trouble, and judge things which followers cannot judge.

There are many other roles for boss, as well.

If the boss is hung up on only managing his followers, then he cannot perform the rest of his job.

In this case, the rest of the staff said, “He does not work but just gives instruction.”

His image which he has adopted, “boss should manage followers work”, is incomplete.

In the real world, many people have this partial image and still become the boss.

In this case, I did not pass on to him the correct image of the boss. Therefore, this kind of thing (happened.

Now this person has changed his image of what a boss is, and he is much more successful at being the boss.

Beside the image of boss, each of us has different images, such as “parent” “Children” “husband” “wife” “teacher” “business people” “leader”.

Each of us has a different image of “Men” and “Women”, too.

The problem is those images are just adopted unconsciously and not build up positively by ourselves.

Before we start something, we have to check own image of what that is, and then check if the image is really the correct one.

Also, it is important to know the difference between your image and others’ image.

I am sure you will find that, in many cases, there are significant differences, and you will get a big realization. By sharing our images, we can achieve smooth human relationships.

Let’s practice together.

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November 21, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (12)

This article is translation of Koichi Tohei sensei's book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)". We will upload new article every Monday.

Shinichi Tohei


Anyone can check if their posture is natural or not

We sit and stand frequently without thinking about it in our daily life. Therefore, not many people think deeply about their sitting posture and standing posture. However, let's think about the quality of your posture. You might have not heard the phrase “quality of the posture”, but this is very important.
I have already written that children are taught correct posture as chest out and back straight at school and home. That is, posture that puts strain on the body..
If people are taught that this is correct posture, most people do not doubt this and believe that it is correct posture. But this is a big mistake.
True correct posture is not the posture that puts strain on your body.
True correct posture is the most comfortable and stable posture, which is called natural posture.
The trouble is that people do not know how to check if it is natural posture or not. People who lived during the preindustrial era, lived during a time that machines were at an early stage of development. Therefore, people learned the most natural way to use their body through heavy work.
In particular, it's felt that people called masters or experts had outstanding techniques and performed their duties with natural posture. It can be said that because they did their work with natural posture, they could create masterpieces.
However, nowadays, people devote most of their time to desk work and heavy work is done by machines. Children spend much time on computer games. As a result, people have less chance to use their body.
I think that this makes it difficult for people to master natural posture.
However, there is a way that anyone can check if it is natural posture or not. I developed a “Ki test” to check natural posture. Let's do the following exercises.
You will need one person who receives Ki test (A) and another who gives Ki test (B) here.
First, A straightens her spine and stands straight and stiff. This is shown by photo No. 1. B touches around A's chest with her right hand, then B pushes straight toward A without interruption.
And then, A's upper body looses its stability and she becomes off balance and moves. Some people often say, “Because she was pushed, it is natural to move.” However, this is not correct.
Let's say A's weight is 50kg. If A is a sack of hammers, can B move it when pushing lightly as B did A? Yes, it is impossible to move.
However, if it is a person with weight 50kg, the person is moved very easily. If A moves by B pushing lightly, this shows that A's posture is unstable. Just because someone is physically larger or stronger does not mean they are stable.
If one uses natural posture, there will be natural stability.
Also, it goes without saying that photo No.2 “hunched posture” will be moved easily.

Next I will explain what correct standing posture is.
First run in place. By doing this, you will find the most natural foot position and distance between your feet.
Next stand on your toes with your heels off the ground. If you stand on your toes you might wobble the first time, but if you practice this several times, you can do this naturally.
If you can get stability when you stand on your toes, then ease your heels down to the ground. At this time, please check if your posture is like photo No. 3 “correct posture”. Body should be leaning slightly forward as shown in the photo No. 3.
Then do the Ki test as you did before; B touches around A's chest with her right hand, then B pushes straight toward A without interruption. A can understand that her posture is stable without doing anything more.

By standing on your toes and easing your heels down to the ground, we can get stable posture.
Let me explain. It is important to use your mind and ki for your correct posture.
In most of the cases, people stand with their weight on their heels.
In other words, their mind reaches only to their heels.
When we measure the length of your arms and hands, everybody measures the length from shoulder to fingertip. What about leg and foot? Usually, people measure the length of the leg and foot from hip joint to heel. However, the toe is also a part of the foot.
When we are practicing standing with correct posture, it is natural that our mind or Ki goes to the tip of the toe. However, if people stand with their weight on the heel, this means Ki goes only to their heels.
The people of the past wore Japanese sandals. Therefore, if their Ki did not go to their toe, the sandals would come off.
Most modern people wear shoes. Therefore, if their Ki does not go to the toe, the shoes will not come off. Instead, shoes wear down at the heels much more and often unevenly.
Your body is yours, therefore, it is natural that your Ki goes to all over the body. This is natural posture. If your Ki goes to your toe, you can keep natural posture and natural stability.

Ki test
(1) chest out posture
1. Chest_out_posture_1

2.Chest_out_posture_2 
3.Chest_out_posture_3 

First photo: Stand straight and stiff
Second photo: Do Ki test…
Third photo: Easy to be moved

(2) hunched posture
1.Hunched_posture_1 

2.Hunched_posture_2 

3.Hunched_posture_3_3

First photo: Loosing Ki and loss of energy
Second photo: Do Ki test…
Third photo: Easy to be moved

(3) Correct posture
1.Correct_posture_1

2.Correct_posture_2 

3.Correct_posture_3

First photo: Run in place and check the natural distance of the feet. Then stand on your toes and ease your heels down on the ground. This is the relaxed standing posture.
Second photo: Person who does Ki test stands diagonally in front and left of her partner and with her right hand, pushes gently on examinee's body between the left chest and shoulder.
Third photo: Examinee can keep her posture stable without trying to not move.

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November 14, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (11)

This article is translation of Koichi Tohei sensei's book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)". We will upload new article every Monday.

Shinichi Tohei


Chapter 2
Correct posture is an elixir of health

Correct posture prevents diseases and other problem conditions.

In daily life, anyone can have healthy life in mind and body if they can always maintain a correct posture. You might be surprised at hearing this. Or you might say that you cannot believe it. However, this is true. If you practice correct posture all the time, you will be able to prevent diseases and other problem conditions.
The length of a human being's blood vessels is 96,000 kilometer (about two and a half times around the earth). We have blood in our veins. Blood has a very crucial role. Blood flow carries Oxygen and nutrition throughout our whole body. At the same time, blood gathers body wastes and carbonic anhydride. Materials are exchanged between blood and body tissue through blood capillaries.
Bad posture constricts blood flow, therefore, this becomes the cause of many diseases.
As a result, your life power will decline, you will get discouraged and have no power to bear many hardships.
Bad posture leads to the disorder of the mind and body. If children practice poor posture, when they get old , they will have problems with curvature of the spine. In this condition, it is natural that they will easily get diseases and experience other health problems.
What most people believe to be correct posture is in fact wrong.
There are two types of wrong posture.
One is posture which is loosing Ki. Everyone can understand this as wrong posture.
By practicing a hunched posture, internal organs are compressed. This constricts blood flow to the brain, you feel disoriented and your breathing becomes very shallow. If your breathe becomes shallow, it is easy to disturb your mind, which causes some people to become upset easily.
Another wrong posture is to tense your body. You might learn this posture at school or at the office known as “Ki o tsuke.” When you do this, you straighten your back, throw back your shoulders and straighten your arm and leg. This posture is believed to be correct posture. Actually, this is wrong.
If you make your body tense, you feel tense. If you become tense, it compresses your blood vessels and constricts your blood flow. Unnatural posture makes unnatural movement, and this becomes the cause for other health problems.
The correct posture is the posture which is the most comfortable, the most stable and which allows you to move anytime.
If the correct posture is a comfortable posture, you can maintain this posture all the time. When you practice this natural posture, it follows universal principles.

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November 10, 2005

Remember to Extend Ki!

What is necessary for realization?

Even if a group of people live under the same conditions, some of those people will realize something, and others will not. What is the difference between these people?

One of the differences is if they send Ki clearly to that which they wish to understand.

You might feel, “Oh, that’s simple!”

However, this difference is everything when we are speaking of realization.

Here are some examples:

When you listen the teacher telling a story that you have heard before, if you listen thinking “I have heard this story before”, you do not send Ki clearly to the speaker and you cannot get any realization.

Even if it is the same story which you have heard, if you send Ki clearly to the speaker, you can get a new and deeper realization each time.

When you read a book, if you read the book thinking, “This book is just the same as the book I read before”, you are not sending enough Ki to the book, and this will limit your understanding.

No matter what, if you read a book with Ki, you will get new realization.

This is very simple. However in reality, we often do not send Ki in our daily life.

There are many people who have trouble in face-to-face conversations. I receive inquiries about this from many people.

In Japan, people are taught “When you talk with others, look at them.” However, even if you try to look into others eyes, sometimes it is very hard to do.

It is said that “The eyes are the window of the mind”. The eyes show the state of mind clearly. If you look at a person’s eyes whose Ki is very strong, it is easy to receive the person’s Ki.

However, if you stare into someone’s eyes, you may not be able to remain aware of other conditions around you.

As a result, many people look away when talking face to face. This gives others distrust and makes it difficult to realize their state of mind.

If this is a business negotiation or some kind of trouble that needs to be solved, it could be detrimental.

Then, try looking around the other person’s nose, instead of their eyes.

If you do this, the other person will feel that you are looking at their face in a straightforward manner.

The most important thing is that you can recognize others small changes in facial expression or attitude because you are sending Ki to others well.

It is not until you have true understanding of what the other is saying, that it has value.

I often meet higher ranking people. But I extend Ki and look at them in the way described above, and I do not get nervous now.

This way helps me a lot.

Please try to put it into practice in your daily life.

If you always remember to send Ki, then you will realize much more.

Let’s practice together.

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November 07, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (10)

This article is translation of Koichi Tohei sensei's book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)". We will upload new article every Monday.

Shinichi Tohei


Mind moves body

Mind and body were originally one. We call this “Shin-shin ichinyo (oneness of mind and body).
The relationship between mind and body is compared to “when you stand in front of the mirror” and “reflection of your image in the mirror”.
In this example standing in front of the mirror is “mind” and the reflection of your shape in a mirror is “body”.
No one says “I become two people” when one sees the reflection of one's shape in a mirror. Both mind and body are you. However, mind has no color, no shape and cannot be grasped by the five senses. On the other hand, body is visible and tangible. Human beings recognize mind and body as separate by difference of their nature.

Body reflects our mind.
When you smile standing in front of the mirror, the reflection of your face in the mirror also smiles. If you feel sad and stand in front of the mirror, the reflection of your face in a mirror also looks sad. There is an old saying that the reflection of your face in a mirror never smiles in advance. Mind moves body.
Here is a simple example. Raise your hand while thinking “I will never raise my hand”. Can you do it? You can raise your hand because you think “I can raise my hand”.
To the contrary, let's think “body moves mind”. Body is influenced by your surroundings all the time. If the body moves mind, mind is always disturbed by your surroundings and will never become calm. “Mind moves body”, therefore, we can have strong mind. Even if my body gets sick, mind will not necessarily become ill. Even if my body is exposed to adverse circumstances, my mind will not necessarily be affected by adverse circumstances.”

Body is visible. Mind is invisible. Therefore, many people only think about how to use body and they do not think about how to use their mind. There are big differences between using both your mind and body when doing things and when you do things without using mind but only using body. Each movement has quality when we use mind.
If I give you an example in our daily life, you will understand it more easily.
When you do something, you might have instances that you think “I do not want to do” in your mind but you physically do it anyway. This is a state of mind and body seperation. In this state, you get tired easily and nothing good comes of it. On the other hand, when you do something which you want to do in your mind, you will feel almost no fatigue and you can work efficiently.
When you do not use your mind positively and use only your body, you are practicing the separation of mind and body. In the latter case, when using mind positively to the purpose and using body, this is the state of oneness of mind and body.
A common example of seperation of mind and body occurs when you are walking up stairs. If you are preoccupied with other thoughts and walking up stairs, it is easy to miss a step and stumble.
Another example can occur when you leave your home and cannot remember locking the door to the house. By habit you may have locked the door, however when leaving the house if mind and body were not working together, you will not remember.
Have you ever had the experience where your eyes just see letters when you read a book, resulting in the need to reread the pages again to understand the content? This is another example of separation of mind and body.
As described above, oneness of mind and body and separation of mind and body can occur frequently in our daily life.
Today people are taught mind and body as separate items. Many people tend to think of mind and body as different in nature. People tend to think of the separation of mind and body as natural. If you try to put two things in one, it is difficult. Mind and body were originally one. Therefore, it is natural to use them together.
To use mind and body together, it is necessary to remember “mind moves body”. Before using your body, you should use your mind clearly first. By doing this, you can use your mind and body together.

In the first chapter, I explained the important ways of thinking to understand Ki breathing. In the next chapter, I will talk about natural posture (posture with oneness of mind and body) which is necessary to do Ki breathing.

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November 01, 2005

Teaching at World Camp 2005

World Camp seminar was held from October 19th Wednesday to October 23rd Saturday. It was a five days seminar. On October 22nd Saturday and 23rd Sunday, Japanese Instructors' seminar was also held.

There were about 140 people attend the seminar from USA, Europe, Russia, Australia and of course Japan. I taught through out the seminar.

worldcamp

The first day of seminar, Koichi Tohei sensei came to the class and shook hands with each participants and took group photo together. Also, Tohei sensei awarded a student who has been studying Ki-Aikido 50 years in Hawaii. Tohei sensei gave him a ceramic plate (Mashiko-yaki plate with Tohei sensei's calligraphy) as a relic of 50 years of study.

The theme of World Camp 2005 was "The Universal mind". Everybody has a selfish mind such as we want to move people and things as we think. However, if we act with selfish mind, others have bad feeling and there will be collision in relationship. It is as same as Ki-Aikido techniques. We practiced to control own mind and using mind not let others move but let’s move together through Ki-Aikido.

There is 520 Tatami mats at Tenshinkan dojo in Ki no Sato. All participants used whole dojo and practiced Ki principles and Ki-Aikido.

worldcamp_2

worldcamp_3

It is important to experience Ki-Aikido techniques directly rather than just listen the explanation. Therefore, I taught each participants directly and let have experience of correct technique and wrong technique. I realized many things from the seminar. Seminar was very positive atmospherics and I could feel oneness.

worldcamp_4

worldcamp_5

Not only Ki-Aikido, but Ki breathing, Oneness rhythm exercise, Kiatsu therapy were also taught. Also, tea ceremony was held by Ki-Aikido school students and participants enjoyed tea with Ki.

By the way, it is natural to teach class in English at the world camp seminar. "Ki is extending" is wonderful. I could listen English well which I cannot listen usually. However, this is not only listen English but feel others' Ki. I send Ki to others well, therefore, I can understand what others want to say. I feel that it is important to send Ki to others again.

This is just an aside, but when I talked with my wife after seminar, I could not listen her Japanese well! I dropped my guard and I did not send Ki to her. This is not good. I will practice more.

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