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January 30, 2006

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (22)

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 (7)
Extend Ki

I have explained how to unify mind and body.
Keep one point, relax completely, and keep weight underside. They are all the same. If you understand this, the last principle is “Extend Ki”.
Our lives are a part of the Ki of the Universe.
As I explained before, when we say “This is my water” by holding a small amount of sea water in our hands, we surround a part of the Ki of the Universe with our body and say, “This is I”.
When the Ki in our body interchanges with the Ki of the Universe, we are alive.
When we extend Ki, a new supply of Ki flows into our body and the interchange is improved. It is our natural state that Ki is extending as long as we are alive.
Then, how to extend Ki?
The state of extending Ki is that your Ki interchanges with the Ki of the Universe. To do this, it is important to use your mind positively. Do not draw the Ki of others to you but rather send Ki to others. Before thinking of what others can do for you, think what you can do for others.
Ki flows into you by extending Ki.
Since this is a very simple principle, most people understand it conceptually but, they do not practice it. To extend Ki, first, you must think “Ki is extending”. Then you can perform everything with this feeling.
Also, as I mentioned before, if you keep one point in the lower abdomen, your Ki naturally extends. To the contrary, if you loose your one point in the lower abdomen, you loose your ability to extend Ki.
Interchange of Ki between you and the Universe will be prevented by putting tension in your body. By realizing that you are also part of the Universe, you can relax correctly. The cause of tension in your body is to forget the Universe and thinking only of yourself.
The Four Basic Principles cannot be separated. If one of them is satisfied, all the other three are naturally attained. They are all one in the same.
You can practice this from now. Even if you are very busy, you can do this in your daily life. I especially hope that those of you who are very busy and active practice the four basic principles.


January 23, 2006

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (21)

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 (6)
Living calmness is our original and natural state

The weight of every object naturally settles at its lowest point. Since the body of a man is also an object, if he relaxes completely, the weight of every part should naturally be settled at the lowest point.
Living calmness is a state where the weight of an object naturally settles underside.
So, if a man relaxes completely, he can always remain calm. This is the third of the Four basic principles.
If you relax keeping the weight of your body at its lowest part, naturally your mind calms down.
The brain is always working while you are alive, you cannot eliminate the waves of the mind. It is impossible not to think anything.
The waves of the brain, can be calmed down by concentrating half infinitely.
The Human body is also an object. Therefore, if humans relax completely, it is natural to be calm.
You cannot always calm your mind when you choose to be calm. It is difficult to calm your mind without realizing what I explained earlier about weight underside.
Even if you pray to God, “Please make my mind calm”, you cannot be calm until the weight of an object naturally settles underside.
As I have already explained in a former chapter concerning correct posture, when you practice correct posture in standing, you stand on your toes with your heels off the ground and ease your heels down to the ground. When you practice correct posture when sitting, you rise on your knees then sit down lightly. If you relax your shoulder and arm, the weight of upper body settles to the one point in the lower abdomen naturally.
This condition is to relax completely and also the condition of keeping weight underside.
In this state, have someone test you by lifting your foot or arm so that you can understand the correct feeling. If your posture is very stable, this is living calmness.
If you practice this in your daily life, your body will learn living calmness without thinking about it constantly.
Later, if you just say, “One point”, you can be calm anytime.


January 16, 2006

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (20)

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 (5)
Relaxation is the most powerful state

Just as a bow kept strung loses its usefulness, so humans cannot maintain continuous tension. It is very important to relax in your life.
However, Children before an entrance exam often find themselves unable to answer questions that they could answer under normal circumstance. Athletes before big games sometimes tighten up and do poorly.
Why do people feel that it is impossible to relax when something important is happening?

First of all, this notion arises from the illusion that when one is relaxed, he is weak. The fact is that if you relax properly, you are very strong, as you will see from the examples we shall mention later. We relax at important and trying times because relaxation makes us strong.
Some people do not know how to relax and feel that they are unable to do so.
To relax means to be at ease and leave things in their natural condition. We can relax if we can make things settle down in their proper places.
The proper place for the weight of the upper body to settle is the one point in the lower abdomen. First find the place, where the weight of the upper body naturally settles. Set it there, and relax the upper body. The weight of all the other parts of the body will settle down at their proper places for a state of over-all relaxation.
If a man does not know the house to which he must return, even if you tell him to go home, he cannot. If you do not know the place in which to settle your strength, even if we tell you to relax, you cannot.
When you are trying to relax, and you do not know where to settle your strength, your strength remains in some part of your body. If you try to relax the shoulders, the belly is tense. If you try to relax your belly, your leg becomes tense. In this way some part of your body is always tense and you cannot relax completely.
Mind moves body. Therefore, the root of being tense is in the state of your mind. Keep one point is the same as relax completely.


January 09, 2006

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (18)&(19)

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 (3)
A magic pot

There is an old story about a magic pot.
One merchant came to sell an old pot. People complained because the pot was very expensive. The merchant said, “No, it is not expensive at all. It is a magic pot.”
“What kind of magic can it perform?” people asked. The merchant said, “Put anything you like in the pot.”
They threw whatever they had around into the pot and it all vanished. It was truly a magic pot. Such pots must be very useful.

We all have such a magic pot in the one point in the lower abdomen. This is an infinitely small point which can engulf anything.
For example, if someone spreads false rumors about you, you could lose your temper when you tell this to your brain. By throwing it away into your one point, you need not become upset. To repress it would only result in this anger coming out later. This is not good for your health either.
Just throw away everything in your one point and always smile.
If you live this way, even though lightning strikes beside you, you will not be shaken up by the sound and the flash of light. They will be instantly absorbed into the one point and disappear. If you do this, you can enjoy tea even when you have lightning strike near you. You do not have to be shaken up by it.

As one tries to keep his one point in daily life, one should be able to maintain a perpetually relaxed state of mind and body. One will develop a mind which is immovable even when the world around collapses, and a mind which is as vast as the ocean which can engulf everything and remain unpolluted.
People in the world usually believe that relaxation means loss of power. That is why they cannot relax in an emergency. They tense their body instead.
You will realize the importance of relaxation in an emergency for the first time when you realize that relaxation is the most natural and stable state.
Most of modern diseases are caused by nervous problems. Stress, irritations, anger and depression make the fine veins contract and disturb the manifestation of the living power causing various diseases.

To become one with the Universe (4)
Always keep one point in the lower abdomen

Some people may wonder, "If we think one point in the lower abdomen always, we cannot do anything". I will answer this question.
It seems reasonable at first glance. However, always keeping one point in the lower abdomen does not mean always thinking the one point.
The one point in the lower abdomen is not a visible point but the point which is infinitely condensed. Even if your one point becomes too small to feel, when you concentrate, just continue.
Once you calm your mind in your lower abdomen, you can keep one point without thinking about it as long as you practice a natural posture.
Calm your mind in your one point in the lower abdomen. Your mind and body will become one with the universe naturally. It is important to check if you calm your mind in your one point in the lower abdomen before doing anything. Let's practice keeping one point in our daily movements when we are standing, sitting and walking.
I emphasize this because it is important: keep one point does not mean to be continously think consciously of your lower abdomen. If you are constantly focusing on your lower abdomen, you will not be able to perform daily tasks correctly.
When we keep one point, we feel relaxed. Once you understand this feeling, you can apply this feeling to you daily activities.
This means to perform in the most natural state.
Sometimes our mind may be disturbed. If you feel that your mind is disturbed, you can practice “Keep one point” once again.
When you get angry or excited, you loose your one point in the lower abdomen. When you get tired or stiff shoulder, you loose your one point in many cases. In these cases, you can correct yourself and keep one point once again.
At first, we may tend to loose our one point and forget it easily. However, by practicing keep one point again and again, you can keep one point for longer periods of time. When you loose your one point, you will realize it instantly.
When you face important tasks, you need not be upset if you keep the one point.


January 01, 2006

Start the New year with a plus mind

A Happy New Year!

Today is New year’s day.

Do you know of the priest Ikkyu who flourished during the Muromachi period (about 600 years ago) ?

Ikkyu was a free-spirited priest and he did not cling to the rules or the system.

He composed the following poem:

“Kadomatsu ha meido no tabi no ichirizuka medetakumoari medetakumonashi” (from Kyounshu)
Meaning: Kadomatsu(Japanese traditional New Year decoration) is an important milestone throughout life. It is auspicious, and yet also not auspicious.

This is a famous poem. Therefore, you might know it.

Everyone celebrates New Year’s holiday. However, this means you are a step closer to the end of your life.

A “milestone” is a landmark for tourists along the way. The priest Ikkyu likened life to the way, and liken New Year’s holiday to a milestone.

Therefore, you can say New year’s holiday as auspicious and not auspicious.

It is said that Ikkyu read this poem to satirize people who are festive. However, does this poem really mean that?

Originally, there is no New year’s day or New year’s eve in the Universe itself. Human beings have divided up time by using a calendar.

Therefore you might think, “New year’s day has no meaning.” However, that’s not it.

It is easy for human beings to be overwhelmed by inertia if we do not draw a line, by creating an ending and a beginning. By having a New Year, we can start our life on a new note.

It is good chance to set or check our personal goals.

Koichi Tohei sensei taught us; “It is important to forget everything that has happened during the previous year, whether good or bad.”

You might think, “Isn’t it okay to remember the good things, while setting the bad things aside?”
You will not repeat same mistake if you remember a bad thing.
But you will be encouraged, if you remember a good thing, yes?

However, the problem is “clinging to the past.”

For example, if you look back and think, “I had bad things happen last year, so I am sure that this year will be bad too.” or “Last year’s business performance was good, so this year should also be all right”, then you cannot move forward.

“Forget everything that has happened during the previous year, whether good or bad.” means “Do not cling to the past, and extend Ki to move forward.”

This is one of the purposes of Senshin no gyo (clearing the mind). As the meaning suggests, you can clear the mind thoroughly.

Let’s go back to the story of the priest Ikkyu.

Koichi Tohei sensei talked about the priest Ikkyu’s poem in the following way:

”The priest Ikkyu would like to tell people that it is up to your own mind whether you look on New Year in a plus way or a minus way."

It seems that the priest Ikkyu’s poem does not have a negative meaning.

It is important not to just celebrate the New Year, but to think of the meaning of the New Year, and to start the New Year with a plus mind.

Let’s study Ki principles together with a plus mind.

Ki no sato

This is Kadomatsu.


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