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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.

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