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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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