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May 28, 2007

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei sensei (32)

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

Shinichi Tohei

Often after a quarrel between friends, both say to themselves, “He was wrong, so he has to apologize first. I won’t.” We say that there is justice even among thieves, and in this type of conflict, both are right and both are wrong. If both people are right, there is no reason to fight.
Primarily, people who practice Ki principles always keep one point in the lower abdomen. Therefore, they should not lose their temper. We must consider losing our temper and having a quarrel, regardless of the reason, shameful.
But once it has happened, there is nothing to do about it, but immediately regain the one point in the lower abdomen, and calm your mind. If you do this, your mind become calm, removing the limits of your generosity, and become aware of your own bad points.
It is easy to see the faults of others, but not so easy to see your own, particularly when the blood has rushed to your heads. At time like this, we do not even attempt to see our won failings, but quarrel in a way to mutually point out each other’s failings. If we were to examine where we have personally gone wrong, there would be no fight.
For this reason, when a fight seems imminent, keep one point little earlier than your opponent, realize your own faults ahead of time, and apologize to your opponent.
At least be prepared beforehand to forgive your friend, and you will advance one level higher than he. Fights occur because both parties are on the same level.
In the case of a mother and baby, the mother always forgives the baby. If you are on a higher level, no quarrels occur between you and others. First, accept your friend to your heart and forgive him and apologize beforehand.
Your friend will become confused and realize his own bad points.
Once you understand the value of apology, do not let yourself be carried to the ridiculous extreme of getting into quarrels over the right to say you are wrong.
The short cut to a solution to the problem is to be open minded and tolerant of your friends before any fight ever starts.
Since it takes two to fight, if you will not be a part of it, no quarrel can take place.

An old warrior code said that three ways to win include:
1. To fight and win
2. Win without fighting
3. Do nothing and win
First way “To fight and win” is the most common and is the lowest level of the three.
The second method “Win without fighting”, which involves complete preparation of all the conditions needed to win beforehand, is safe and is on an intermediate level between the other two.
The finest of the three, “Do nothing and win” is the safest of the three since insofar as no fight takes place no possibility of losing exists.
In this method, we potent the opponent and make him follow where we lead without fight. If we are going to win, we should win the best possible way. It is exactly because we have no cause to choose the most inferior winning method.

There was a young couple who constantly fought and who were on the verge of separation.
Since the husband was studying Ki, his friends came to me and asked me to do something.
Listening to what both sides had to say, they both had something to say about each other. I discovered that neither the wife nor the husband mentioned thier own faults but complained only about the other party.
The wife was by no means ready to give in; she gave her husband back three words for his every one.
Nothing is difficult as mediating between a quarrelling couple. Nothing one says will convince the other one.
If the mediator says the wrong thing, when the couple patch up their differences, they will direct their ill comments at him. Nevertheless, I made my decision and told the husband that he was wrong, much to his dissatisfaction and his wife’s elation. This is a very fundamental idea.
I said to the husband, “Since your wife was not practicing Ki, she knew nothing about the one point in the lower abdomen and could not help getting angry. You, on the other hand, were learning Ki and are wrong not to put to actual practice what you have learned. Therefore, I say that you are wrong. If you realize that, whatever happens, whatever your wife says to you, this is the time to practice keeping the one point. Not only will you keep your temper, you will also make a great deal of progress. If you practice the one point only at the training hall and lose it when you get home, you have wasted your effort. No matter what caused the fight. Would you try it from today?” He agreed to try it from that day.
Then I explained some things to wife and taught her some basic exercises, and got her to master the one point in the lower abdomen. I said, “I realize that you are dissatisfied with your husband on a number of counts. But as you can see, he is willing to make every effort to change his ways. He lacks experience and he may forget, but won’t you help him to correct his bad habits?” The wife consented. In less than a month the pair were leading a perfectly happy married life.
When a young couple gets together because they are in love everything should go along nicely. But a single dissatisfaction on the basis of the theory that minus calls forth minus, breeds further ill until the situation is irreparable.
The young husband went home, stopped at the door to make sure of the one point in the lower abdomen, and went in calling out happily, “I’m home”.
In the past, the husband had gone home with minus Ki and minus thoughts at the a day at work. He thoughts, “I’ve got to go home now and listen to her complain”.
This time, the wife realizing that this was the time to cooperate rushed to the door smiling and said, “I’m glad you are back.” and made tea for him.
When she had something to say, she would try to be patient and wait, but if she just could not wait, she expressed herself as pleasantly as possible.
The husband felt better, and always spoke gently to his wife, and willing helped her with her work. Their love flowed forth.
Once they mutually changed their Ki to plus, they were once again as close as when they were newlyweds.
Later, the wife also started Ki training, and go to practice together with husband.
Winning and losing are not important a marriage where the partners mutually understand and help each other to keep things happy between them.

Though this example is one from ordinary life, it points out to the need to always remember that there is a way to avoid fighting.
There is always a way of coexistence and co-prosperity. If we have fighting in our hearts, we make enemies of allies.
If fighting is not in our mind, we have neither foes nor allies, because all of us are brothers born of the Ki of the Universe.


May 24, 2007

Do Others Actually Make Us Do Something?

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this kind of article is to practice and validate the Ki principles (Mind moves body) which are the foundation of Ki-Aikido in your daily life. Therefore, it has no meaning if you just read it without practicing it.

The fundamental method of mastering anything is practice. However, not just practice, but it is also important to validate how one has changed as a result of the practice.

It is easy to lose what you have learned without practice. On the other hand, you will never lose what you have learned through practice and validation. Therefore, please read, practice, and validate the contents of my article at least four times within a month.

Do Others Actually Make Us Do Something?

The essence of Ki-Aikido is found in the Ki principles, which are practices showing us how mind moves body. “Mind moves body” means “Mind always has an effect upon the state of the body”.

This is story about Ki-Aikido technique:

A person grabs your wrist with all his strength. Can you move the opponent freely and lead him in a harmonious way? It is up to your realization if you can do this or not.

That the opponent grabs your wrist is a fact. However, there are two ways to experience this: “the opponent grabbed you” or “you allowed the opponent to grab you”.

If you perceive this as you have been grabbed, you cannot move at all. However, if you perceive it as you allowing the opponent to grab, you can move freely. It is truly amazing for beginners. What matters is the state of your mind.

Mind does not have shape. Some people imagine that others cannot know their mind. Therefore they think that it is okay to use their mind in any way. However, this thought does not work in Ki-Aikido. Practice is better than precept, so how we use our mind in practice is important. You cannot execute a Ki-Aikido technique if you use your mind improperly.

Here is the same example of use of mind in our daily life:

Many people get really nervous in public. They feel strongly self conscious about “being seen” by other people. As a result, they pull Ki to themselves.

However, if they change their perception from “being seen” to “seeing”, the nervousness is relieved astonishingly. That is, send Ki to others.

When you pull Ki, you only think about yourself. For example, "What if I fail?" ”What if I am not respected?”

Instead, just send Ki to others, not to yourself. For example, just “see others’ personality”, or “see the expression on others’ faces”, or “see others’ fashion”. These are examples of sending Ki to others. Change your Ki direction from inward to outward.

I was often nervous in the past. However, after I learned to extend Ki to others, even the nervousness became a big advantage, and I became very strong when in front of others.

Another example is when you are asked to perform some sort of work:

Many people perceive this as “others are forcing me to work”. If you see it this way, you cannot work efficiently and will become tired unnecessarily. However, even when it is the same work, if you see it as “I do this work myself”, you can increase efficiency and will not become so tired.

In simple terms, “It is always better to do something positively and in a joyful way, than thinking others are forcing you to do something. However, many find it difficult to make this transition of mind. It is terrible that they use their mind incorrectly and then say “I am tired”. In this way they lose their own motivation.

We practice the effective use of mind in Ki-Aikido. If you apply this in your daily life, you can do things in comfort. Even if you learn one Ki-Aikido technique, its principle is very deep.

Let’s practice and validate the following:
1.When you meet others, think “Others are looking at me.”
Then, when you meet others, think “I am looking at you.”

2. When you work, think “Others are forcing you to work.”
Then, when you work, think “I do this work.”

The point of validation is:

1. When you meet others, in which of these ways was your mind more calm?
2. When you work, which way were you more comfortable?


May 21, 2007

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei sensei (31)

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

Shinichi Tohei

The principle of non-dissension

It is important to keep healthy human relationships to maintain a healthy mind and body.

The Universe is absolute, with which we have no cause to fight. Battles arise first when the idea of duality appears.
By focusing on the relative world, we have lapsed into the attitude that fighting is a natural thing. We have forgotten the true nature of the Universe.
People today find this a very difficult concept to understand.

There are too many people today who feel it is impossible to live without conflict. There are also many who, though it means oppressing others, will stop at nothing to gain ascendancy and to win by any means.
Naturally, this situation even more difficult if these are the people who get together to discuss world peace.
If we truly desire world peace, each individual must return to the basic spirit of the Universe and understand the meaning of the principle of “non-dissension”.
The general belief is that the principle of non-dissension means that we must agree with whatever anyone might say, that we are not to resist if someone should strike us, and it is a very weak way to live.
This is really not the case. The principle of non-dissension demands the strongest spirit.
It demands a complete supply of plus ki in mind and body to help us avoid receiving even a little of our opponent’s minus Ki.
The situation is similar in nature to a clear spring bubbling from the bottom of a pond. On its way to the surface, not one drop of the pond’s mud water enters the clean stream.
When you are filled with plus Ki and emitting it, none of the minus Ki around you can enter your body. Just as the mud waters of the pond would rush in and dirty the clear water if the spring stop flowing for even a moment, so to if you draw in you own Ki even a little, you will receive all the minus Ki around you.
Therefore, the principle of non-dissension demands a strong mind constantly filled with Ki and constantly sending our Ki to the Universe. A mind whose Ki is in perfect conflux with that of the Universe.
The way of non-dissension enables you to overcome any disappointments without grief, to laugh off any slander, and to lead any attacker without receiving the blow.
Those who cry themselves to sleep resisting nothing and replying to no ill remarks made by others, are not what we mean by the principle of non-dissension.
Locking up the speech and actions of your opponent in your heart is not real non-dissension; it is endurance. Though you say nothing with your lips, your feelings may be seething within you. Conflicts and contradiction in your mind is a sort of battle, too.
The non-dissention we are speaking of arises when we do not harbor ill feelings against our opponent’s minus mind, but with the magnanimity of the sea that accepts all tributary streams, maintain a calm in our own heart.

An employee of a certain company began studying oneness of mind and body.
He came to me one day with a problem. He said,
“I am frequently having conflicts of opinion with my boss at the office and that the differences would usually end in a quarrel. My boss is stubborn and I am short tempered. Though I knew fighting is not good, I could not stop. Whenever my boss said something bad to me, I always got angry. I wanted to know what I can do to solve this problem. “
“Have you leaned oneness of mind and body and mastered it?” I asked.
“Yes, I understand it well.”
“It’s really quite easy, then. When someone says something unpleasant about you, maintain the one point in the lower abdomen, send forth powerful Ki, and do not take personally what he says. If you do this, all of the bad things the other man says will revert back to him. For instance, if your boss calls you a fool and you refuse to take in what he says, it returns to the sender, who is in effect saying that he himself is a fool. You would laugh and agree if your boss was to say to you, ‘I am a fool’, wouldn’t you? Just try thinking this way, and watch the other man’s face. The face of a man who is angry, all by himself, becomes immediately rather amusing.”
He apparently immediately put my advice to practice. However angry his boss would get, he would simply smile and say, “Yes, yes.” Finally his boss announced, as he stormed out, that talking to my student only made him angrier. Then he walked away.
One realizes when he sees his partner’s smiling face how foolish and worthless being angry alone is.
The same is true with a threat. If the person threatened keeps one point and a calm their mind, the one to become frightened will be the man who made the threat.
A few days later, the boss asked my student, “Something’s funny here. You seem to have learned something different lately.”
He explained the entire thing it his boss, who said that having quarrels was so much nonsense and resolved to stop.


May 14, 2007

"Ki breathing" by Koichi Tohei sensei (30)

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

Shinichi Tohei

A New day begins before going to bed

Sometimes it is difficult to sleep when we have an important event or worry. As everyone will agree, if we do not take a little time for sleep, the body may be unable to go on. Sometimes people try to sleep, and find it difficult to do so.
When this happens, take thirty minutes or so and practice Ki breathing. If you cannot spare that much time, it is okay to lie down and practice Ki breathing.
If you do Ki breathing before you sleep, you can change your subconscious mind to plus. Therefore, your fortune will change in favorable ways. Your subconscious mind goes through changes when you are sleeping.
When we are awake, conscious mind is mainly active. When we sleep, subconscious mind is mainly active. Therefore, the deep part of the mind will be changed during your sleep.
If we clean up our body before going to bed, we would like to also clean up our inner body. Clean up inner body, is to clean up our organs and bowels. The way we can clean up organs and bowel is Ki breathing. When we clean up our inner body, we also clean up mind.
If we do Ki breathing before going to bed, we can digest foods completely during sleep. A lively exchange between ourselves and Ki of the Universe will enable us to wake up full of energy the next morning. If you do not rest well, your body will not have an opportunity to cleanse itself.
In addition to that, the reason I recommend you to do Ki breathing before going to bed is because the day does not start when you awaken, rather it has already begun before you go to bed. Therefore, Ki breathing before going to bed is preparation of the next day.
If you practice Ki breathing every night, you will be able to sleep anytime when you want to. You will think much more clearly than when you try to use a tired brain. Take five or ten minutes out to sleep for a while.
Anyone who cannot sleep well will envy the man who says, “Excuse me a while,” and can drop off for a brief nap.
To be able to sleep whenever you like requires a special technique and is an important element in good health.

Take a meal in gratitude for the Universe

We must eat to keep our health. Similar to sleeping, modern people tend to place a low value on eating.
Good cooking ingredients, balanced nutrition, and cooking methods are important elements. More important is to receive Ki through eating things in the Universe.
Life exists, not only in animals, but in every tree, each blade of grassm and all living things. We can maintain our life by eating those living things. If we understand this, we should naturally have gratitude to the Universe before eating foods. However, most of the people forget about this truth and they think only of eating food. There are some people who take a lot of foods at a buffet, and do not eat all of it. If they think that by paying money they can waste foods, it would not be an exaggeration to say that their attitude towards food ignores the Universal Principles.
The most important thing when we have a meal is send Ki to the meal. If you send Ki to the foods, you are in appreciation of the Universe and the cook. By using your mind clearly, you digest food well. We appreciate and enjoy the meal more. This is because we extend Ki and are able to taste the food well.
Sometimes I see people who are eating a meal and reading a newspaper or magazine. Their mind goes to the newspaper or magazine, therefore, they do not send Ki to the meal. In this case, people cannot taste well and do not feel if they have eaten foods or not. In this state, there is no gratitude for the Universe or the cook. In this instance, Ki is disconnected and interaction of Ki of the Universe is prevented and you lose mind and body coordination.
There are many kinds of supplements nowadays. I think one of the reasons people look to supplements too much is due to their lack of trust in foods. It comes not only from lack of trust and safety in foods, but from a lack of understanding of the nature of the food they eat.
It is essential to eat foods to keep mind and body healthy. Eating foods with gratitude to the Universe allows you to receive the Ki of the Universe into your body.


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