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December 26, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (17)

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

Shinichi Tohei

To become one with the Universe (2)
Meaning of the one point in the lower abdomen

Let us think more deeply about the one point in the lower abdomen.
The Universe is a limitless circle or sphere with a limitless radius. Thus I can say that I am the center of the Universe. Even if I take a step to the left, you cannot say that the Universe to my left side has become a step shorter. The Universe is still limitless.
But if I say I alone am the center of the Universe, it will be a mistake.
Everyone is the center of the Universe.
A limited circle has only one center but a limitless circle has as many centers as you want.
The Buddha taught this when he said, “Tenjo tenga yuiga dokuson” which means, “I am my own Lord throughout heaven and earth. I am no man's man, but my own”.
The Buddha also said, “Banbutsu ni busho ari,” which means, “All things in the Universe have potential Buddhahood”.
But in later ages the priests wrongly interpreted this to say, “Only Buddha is holy.”
The Universe condensed becomes myself. And further condensed, it becomes the one point in the lower abdomen.
The one point is not really a tangible point, but the point in which you infinitely condense by half and half and half in your mind. When it reaches the verge of being too small to be visualized, keep concentrating it in your mind and let it continue.
This movement of infinite condensing results in calmness. This is the exact meaning of the one point in the lower abdomen.
When the one point is too small to feel, and you stop concentrating, it becomes dead calmness instead of living calmness.
Living calmness is the stable state containing infinite movements, and dead calmness is power without movement.
They look alike but fundamentally are different.

Nothing stops in this world. Mind is the same.
Dead calmness does not follow the principles of the Universe.


December 22, 2005

Enjoy Your Life

I heard two young ladies having a conversation on the train the other day.

Lady A: “There has been nothing fun lately.”

Lady B: “No, nothing fun.”

When I heard this conversation, suddenly I wondered.

It is good when you can feel happiness about something. However, if the happiness is a result of someone or something outside of you, then the happiness may disappear very soon after you get used to the “fun”.

You can get true fun, or happiness, only by enjoying things from within yourself.

For example, when you have a meal, you can rush to eat the meal just to take in nourishment. Or you can taste and enjoy each aspect of the meal.

Even if there is a wonderful dinner, if you do not appreciate each flavor, the dinner will not seem delicious to you.

In the same way, you can perceive your work as just routine work. Or you can enjoy your work by setting up a goal and clearly using your mind to achieve that goal.

Even if it is wonderful job, if you are not using your mind in this way, it will not be fun and challenging.

This simple approach makes you enjoy everything positively. By changing your way of perceiving things, your life can become fruitful.

This is the best use of your mind.

It is a good thing to find enjoyment in others, however, if we get used to having fun only through others, our ability to enjoy things positively degenerates. We will be dependent upon others, and won’t be able to enjoy life alone.

It is important to consider “what you can enjoy”, not “what you do”. I think if you can enjoy everything, this has great value.

It is also very important to enjoy yourself when you study something.

I teach over 1,000 people a year.

There are some people who are always growing. On the other hand, there are other people who stop growing at some level. This is true, even if I teach them the same contents at the same time.

I think the difference comes from whether a person can enjoy the teaching positively. People who are growing always know how to enjoy everything.

A clever person grows fast in the beginning. However, if the person does not know how to enjoy positively, they will soon become bored and lose interest.

Even if you are a slow learner, if you know how to enjoy things positively, you can realize many things and never stop growing.

“To enjoy” is one of the most important factors of studying.

This is just an aside:
My wife and I were waiting at the train platform. We had to wait over 20 minutes for next train.
As a result, I was slightly irritated, and said, “Why there is not an earlier train?”
My wife heard it and she said to me, “Why can’t you enjoy waiting for the train together?”

It seems that I have to train how to “enjoy positively”:)
When I look back, I realize that I lost my breadth of mind because of an overbooked schedule.

This was very important realization for me.

This is the time that we set our personal goals for next year.

One of my goals is to “enjoy everything”!

Let’s practice together.


December 19, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (16)

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 three
Oneness of mind and body with the Universe

Four major principles to unify mind and body

In this chapter, I will talk about “oneness of mind and body (shin-shin Toitsu in Japanese)”.
Mind and body are different in nature. Mind and body are also originally one. Therefore, it is natural to use them together. It can be difficult to combine two things that are different in nature.
As I have described in former chapters, most of the people use their mind and body separately. Therefore, it is necessary to always practice using mind and body together.
I want to discuss not about the training but about being one with the Universe.
When we do something which does not follow Universal principles, we will expect trouble or disorder with our lives or our surroundings. Mind and body are one. Therefore, it is necessary to use them practicing Universal principles.
Oneness of mind and body means to practice your state of mind according to the Universal principles and live with Universal principles.
I established “Four major principles to unify mind and body” as the way to practice oneness with mind and body for anyone.
The four major principles are a practical way to practice oneness with the Universe. Practicing the four major principles is not the purpose of our training but rather a way for all of us to practice oneness with the Universe.

Four major principles to unify mind and body
1. Keep one point
2. Relax completely
3. Keep weight underside
4. Extend Ki

These four major principles are likened to four different routes to climb to the top of the mountain. In the same way that we can climb to the top of the mountain from any of those four routes, by performing one of these four principles, anyone can experience oneness of mind and body. You do not have to do two or three at once, only one at a time.
Let's me explain each principle.

To become one with the Universe (1)
Concentrate your mind at the One point in the lower abdomen

Everybody knows it is important to calm ones own mind. Well, where should we calm our own mind?
This place is “one point in the lower abdomen” which I will describe.

People of the Orient, from ancient times, have placed emphasis on the importance of the lower abdomen (Seika-tanden in Japanese) as the birth place of true human strength.
They have also tended to practice a mistaken belief that simply concentrating physical strength in the lower abdomen would produce a powerful lower abdomen.
It is true that the lower abdomen is important, however, the lower abdomen is not the place to put physical strength. It is the place to calm your mind.
If you merely tense your lower abdomen, a chain reaction will cause you to tense your chest, too. And if you continue this for a long time, you will develop pains in your stomach and you will experience an elevated blood pressure.
You should not forget that mind moves body.

As the lower abdomen involves the concept of area, it is natural that if we concentrate in this area, we will become tense.
For this reason, I have selected one point in the lower abdomen where we cannot put strength and is an infinitely small one point. I call it the “one point in the lower abdomen (seika-no-itten in Japanese)”.
All of the beginners misunderstand the one point in the lower abdomen to be located in a place too high in the lower abdomen. The one point is much lower than you think, about the height of your pubic bone.
This is about several inches below the navel.
By calming your mind in the one point, you can develop a powerful lower abdomen without becoming tense. We call this process “oneness of mind”, or “concentrated mind”. By calming our minds in the one point in the lower abdomen, we can develop a powerful lower abdomen. And we will have balance.


December 12, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (15)

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

Shinichi Tohei

How to carry heavy baggage easily

Once you understand correct posture, it is important to practice this in your daily life.
Your bad posture has been created by what you have practiced until now. For many, bad posture has already became a habit. To change your habit, the easiest way is to practice it in your daily life. Here is an example.
I am sure that you have carried heavy baggage in your daily life. There is a correct way and a wrong way to carry bags. Let's try the wrong example first.
In photo 1, she raises her left shoulder intentionally in order to carry a bag. And her right arm hang loosely because her bag is heavy. In addition, her chest is out, and her upper body is leaning back. Therefore, she carries the weight of the bags unnaturally.
If you hold bags like this, your bags will feel very heavy, in addition your posture would be unnatural, which may cause injury to your back.
Next, let's stand with a correct posture. Please make sure to check your posture by Ki test.
Then, carry the bags. You can carry the bags easily and it will feel light in weight. (photo 2). Natural posture is stable and looks relaxed and natural.
Please practice this correct posture when you go shopping, cleaning your room, or when performing activities in your daily life.


Photo 1; Her chest is out, and her upper body is leaning back.She raises her left shoulder intentionally in order to carry a bag.This is very unnatural posture.


Photo 2; Carry a bag with correct posture

Keeping a correct posture is the foundation for good health. Let's look at another example.
When people use computers or are watching TV, most people put their face forward a little. Let's try this posture for one minute.
You will realize that your neck and shoulder become fatigued. By putting your face forward just a little, the weight of your head presses on your shoulder and your shoulder becomes tense.
I preside over the Ki Society which is recognized by the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry in Japan. There are many visitors to the Ki Society that have problems with stiff shoulder and request assistance and counseling. By teaching self Kiatsu (healing with Ki) and correct posture, their stiff shoulder will improve and they will not have stiff shoulders recur again.
There are many disorders because of bad posture such as backache, knee ache, etc. By practicing correct posture, most of those disorders will disappear.
By learning correct posture with oneness of mind and body, you can perform daily movements very easily.

If you nurse someone in a hospital or at home, this can be mentally and physically very hard on you. Many people who care for seniors or patients have backache and fatigue, therefore, they struggle with their own mental care.
I hope they study this correct posture.
We have a seminar called “Ki for nursing people”. What I teach in this seminar will help care givers by correcting their posture, thus making things much easier for them.
Once your fatigue is gone, you can relax your mind. This will enable you to take care of your own mental health.
Anyone can practice correct posture.


December 08, 2005

To Look, Not to be Seen

Many people say to me, “I get very nervous in public. What should I do?”

The results will be different whether you view your nervousness as plus, or whether you view it as minus.
The question above is asking about nervousness with a minus mind

Being nervous while maintaining a plus mind develops your concentration, and you can perform to the best of your ability. However, being nervous with a minus mind prohibits you from completing your work.

If you are not one of those people who are used to standing in front of many people, or one of those people who just love to stand in public, then if you want to act with a calm mind in public, you need to practice Ki.

I am comfortable giving lectures in front of a few hundred people now, but when I was small, I used to get very nervous in public.

At my graduation ceremony in elementary school, I received the diploma from the principal. On the way to get the diploma, my right hand and right foot moved same time!

My mother says, “I was so embarrassed at that time.” :-)

First of all, I will talk about the basics of Ki.

If you send Ki to others or to the surrounding environment, this condition is called “Ki is extending”.

On the other hand, if you pay attention only to yourself, this condition is called “Pulling Ki (toward you)”.

When you appear in public, if you think to yourself “They are looking at me”, you receive Ki from all people. For example, if there are 10 people, you receive 10 people’s Ki., If there are 100 people, you receive 100 people’s ki.

Try this with your partner.

If you think, “You are looking at me”, you are disturbed by your partner’s line of vision.
If you think, “I am looking at you”, you do not mind your partner’s line of vision.

If you pull Ki, you come under the influence of others Ki. Your Ki goes to only yourself, therefore, you cannot realize anything.

In this time, let’s say to yourself, “I am looking at others”.
The point is to send Ki in a positive way from yourself to others.

Then, you do not come under the influence of others’ Ki, no matter how many people are in front of you.

By extending Ki to the outside, you do not come under the influence of others’ Ki.
When you are extending Ki, you also can realize others condition.

For instance, if you extend Ki when you give a lecture, you can adjust your topic by seeing how the audience reacts.

Since I know this and send Ki to others in a positive way, I can talk to others without excitement.

“To be seen (pull Ki)” and “To look(extend Ki)” are completely different.

In addition to the above, if state of your mind is “I show you”, this is different.

If you try to show others intentionally, your action will be unnatural in most of the cases. Then, this creates nervousness again.

If you try to show something, you cannot move anothers heart.
Actors particularly understand this difference.

I feel that this theme is very deep.

Let's practice together.


December 05, 2005

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (14)

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

Shinichi Tohei

Shisei (in Japanese) has two meanings

There are things that you have learned that are forgotten in our daily lives.
Shisei (in Japanese) is one of them.
The Japanese word “Shisei” has two meanings since old days. One is posture which refers to the body, the other is attitude which refers to your mind.
When we say “your attitude in doing things”, this means state of mind.
When we say “Shisei wo tadasu” in Japanese, this has two meanings. One is to adjust posture, another is improve one's attitude. When we hear these words, we tend to think only about our physical state and forget about state of mind.
“Mind moves body”. Therefore, our state of mind reflects in our state of body completely. If you practice correct posture, your state of mind is also correct.
If your posture is stable, your mind is also stable. If your have sloppy posture, your state of mind will also be sloppy.
For this reason, it is very important to master correct posture to educate children when they are younger as to what is correct posture.
Originally, Shisei in Kanji is written as Shiseihastwomeanings_1  . Shiseihastwomeanings_2  means posture, and Shiseihastwomeanings_3  means momentum. The state of oneness of mind and body reflects the posture and makes the person looks bigger. When a master acts on the stage, the master looks bigger. This is a reflection of mind which extends Ki.

Let's practice to see how body is affected by the state of your mind through a Ki test.
First, please check your standing posture to make sure it is correct. Next practice the Ki test as I described earlier. Without changing your posture, focus your mind on the top of your head. Then perform the Ki test. You will find that even if you do not change your posture, you will not be stable.
If you concentrate on the top of your head, your posture becomes unstable. When we get angry, we say “your anger rises“, and when we get nervous, we say “to choke up”. What comes up?
It is Ki. Ki rises to the head causing your blood pressure to rise which may cause many health problems. Sometimes we say “to blow your top”.
Next, without changing your posture, concentrate on your lower abdomen in a place where you cannot put strength. This place is called “one point in the lower abdomen”.
Calm your mind at this one point. If you receive the same Ki test, you will find that your posture is stable.
If you calm your mind in your lower abdomen, you will not get angry easily.

To concentrate on your lower abdomen does not mean put strength in the lower abdomen. Many people tend to misunderstand this, so we need to be careful.
Starting with “Keep one point”, I created “Four major principles to unify mind and body” to keep oneness of mind and body. I will explain it in the next chapter.
If you have trouble in controling your emotion, check your posture to make sure it is correct and calm your mind in your lower abdomen. In this way, you will be able to control your emotions.


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