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May 18, 2008

Calm your mind first, then act.

A Short Instruction:
The purpose of this 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 a month.
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Calm your mind first, then act.

The most important principle in Ki-Aikido is “Mind moves body”.

If you try to move the body of another, it is almost impossible if his or her mind resists. To lead the body of another, you need to lead his or her mind first.

For leading another’s mind, first we must know their mind. It is easy to grasp the body because it has color and shape, but mind does not have color and shape, and so it is not easy to grasp.

Even so, mind moves body. Somehow, all of the state of mind is reflected in the state of the body. You can know the state of mind through state of the body.

Breathing is one of the best examples.

There are two types of breath. There is “deep and calm” breath and “shallow and rough” breath. Which of these do you usually do? When do you breathe shallowly and roughly?  Usually this happens when you get nervous, angry, sad, feel pressure, and so on. After hard training, our breath becomes rough, but this is a special case, therefore, I will omit this case now.

If your state of mind is not calm, your breath is also not calm. Therefore, you can know your state of mind through breathing.

In addition to that, if you train to calm your breath in daily life, you can calm your breath and act even in an emergency.

People who do not have an interest in breathing may face a difficult situation with rough breathing. When they get nervous, therefore, they cannot perform to the best of their ability. Once you practice Ki breathing and are able to calm your breath, you never experience becoming rigid because of stress.

Therefore, many athletes learn “Ki breathing”. Artists and managers also learn it.

By calming your breath, daily-life communication will change.

We react to stimulus from outside instantly through instinct. If someone takes an aggressive stance towards us, we also become aggressive in our reaction. If we act through instinct, we elicit a Pavlovian response to others, and refuse to accept what others say or do. We always regret this later. 

This kind of bad habit can improve by Ki breathing. Pausing to take a breath will help to control one’s mind and actions.

To calm your breath means to calm your mind and actions. This is very simple. By controlling yourself, you can keep smooth communication. When you scold children or when you must advise your subordinates, always calm your breath first.

I used to have a bad temper and it was easy to become angry since I was small. However, I rarely loose my temper now. No one believes that I had a bad temper in the past. Ki breathing helps me a lot.

Below is this month’s exercise, so please practice and check your progess.

This month’s practice is a prerequisite for knowing Ki breathing. If you are not familiar with Ki breathing, please read “Ki Breathing”, a book written by Koichi Tohei Sensei.

〔Things to practice〕

First, calm your mind by Ki breathing, then engage in daily life actions.
Example:
Calm your mind by Ki breathing, then start to talk.
Calm your mind by Ki breathing, then stand on stage.
Calm your mind by Ki breathing, then scold others. etc

〔Things to validate〕

Can you perform with a calm mind?

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