Cultivating Ki Flow and Mindfulness, Manifesting MindWritten by Charlie Badenhop
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1. There is a dynamic life force (ki) which pulsates through each of us. Most people have developed a tendency to inhibit flow of energy and movement created by ki when presented with challenging situations. When natural flow of ki is inhibited, natural flow of information available (images, sounds, feelings, and "solutions") is also inhibited. Allowing a free flow of energy and movement throughout our system facilitates a free flow of information and thus high quality learning and adaptation.
2. Ki flows best in a system that is balanced in structure, porous, flexible, expansive, and well oxygenated. Therefore in Seishindo we suggest any and all physical exercises and mindfulness training that helps you to accomplish just such a state. This is kind of state that increases your resilience, adaptive and healing powers, and energy flow. Aikido, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, Gyrontonics, and various Seishindo practices are excellent for this. The idea in all of these practices is to increase your awareness of what is taking place in moment, while entering into an experience where you "stop stopping" yourself, and your thoughts and reactions transcend limitations of your habituated "everyday" pace and rhythm. When we use more of all of our self and less of any one part of our self, our system will tend to be healthy and highly responsive.
3. Breath moves ki and delivers oxygen to system. Oxygen and ki are highly supportive of health, well being, and formulations of solutions. Every thought we have and every emotion we experience, affects flow of breath and thus ki, within our system. When we are able to maintain a relaxed breathing process appropriate to situation at hand, we maintain a free flow of ki, our emotions tend to be balanced, and our thinking tends to be solution oriented. There are many different disciplines that offer various breathing exercises. Any well conceived breathing exercise will be extremely helpful in "training" you to maintain sufficient amounts of oxygen in your system. In my last article I presented Heartbeat Breathing practice. You can find this practice here.
4. Under normal life conditions, when a system receives a "shock" it adapts and rebalances. Extreme life conditions such as trauma result in extreme adaptations, and quite often rebalancing part of our recovery does not take place. Usually during times of trauma person's energy, musculature, and thought patterns "lock" part way through cycle of experience, and natural and necessary rebalancing back to center, does not occur. When we block natural flow of ki in our system, we block flow of "river of life." Meaningful and lasting change requires shifts in autonomic, peripheral, and enteric nervous systems, to occur. Such change requires a provoking of natural wisdom of body and its capacity to re-balance so that we release locking of our musculature, and a new higher level of systemwide organization can be allowed to unfold.
The Noguchi Sei Tai exercise of "Katsugen Undo" offers an excellent method to help release system so that you can once again open up to possibilities of life, and facilitate free flow of ki within your system. (More on this later.)
5. The response of "dissociation" or numbing our ability to feel can be quite helpful as an anesthetic under conditions of pain and extreme helplessness. Such responses however become detrimental to our overall health and well being when they are adopted as a generalized response to potentially painful or frightening situations. It is natural for our system to release anesthetic of an operation after and hour or so, as our system comes "back to life." It is also natural to release dissociative patterns learned when feeling helpless or in pain, so that we can enter back into a life of pain AND pleasure, sorrow AND joy. We need to discover a path for entering back into flow of life so we can regain access to full range of emotions that are available to a healthy emotionally balanced individual. When sensation of flowing ki is anesthetized we lose our ability to feel into ebb and flow of our experience. Heartfelt supportive relationships are of great benefit here in helping us to trust that it can be safe to feel again.
6. Whatever we avoid, whatever we are unable to feel and bring our awareness into, does not change. When our system does not change, our ki becomes stagnant, and our life force is weakened. When working to re-claim parts of ourselves we have lost contact with we will do well to begin by gently feeling each and every part of ourselves, so that we can eventually come to know that we are whole. Every part of our self is worthy of loving attention and when we bring loving attention to injured or neglected parts of our self, we foster flow of ki, a softening of body, and opening of our heart. Various mindfulness exercises such as meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Aikido, can be very helpful in this regard.
The challenge of living a heartfelt healthy life is threefold: 1) Gain conscious awareness of how you generate your somatic-emotional experience. 2) Recognize ingredients of somatic-emotional "recipes" you generate as a result of your experience. 3) Change recipes you create, and thus change your relationship to your experience and your life "story". If you are able to change habituated and highly specific somatic-emotional reactions you have to events you will transform way you express your emotions, think, and react.
In order to assist each person in being able to change their consciousness we have developed various practices. These practices are designed to make transparent aspects of your experience more obvious. The practices help you to notice and effect changes in various aspects of your experience that were previously outside of your conscious awareness. By taking part in these practices you will learn how to intuit and react to seed somatic-emotional experience that forms foundation of your verbal explication of life. In order to cultivate ki, cultivate mindfulness. In order to cultivate mindfulness cultivate a love for all that lives, and all that you are and aren't.
Over a period of time by performing mindfulness practices, you will also be more likely to understand how to help others change their experience as well.
Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from his thought-provoking ideas and a new self-help Practice every two weeks, by subscribing to his complimentary newsletter "Pure Heart, Simple Mind" at http://www.seishindo.org/anger/index.html .
The Maker of Maps - a metaphorical taleWritten by Adam Sargant, Dip.H.Ed (Nursing Studies), Dip.Hyp.,NLP(prac)
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As he wandered, his muscle grew hard, and his body lean and tanned. His face became lined and radiated a peace and a gentle silence that filled people he met with quiet awe and reverence. Yet none of this he noticed.
When he came to a new town, he would tell people there of his travels, and he would illuminate his stories with pictures and maps of his own making, drawn both on paper, and in air with his arms as he told his tales. And he started to notice a strange thing; that when he came into a new place, people seemed to know him, and to have been waiting eagerly for his arrival. Audiences would gather to hear of his travels, and he would leave behind maps and pictures for people, never taking them on with himself in his journey but always starting out anew with fresh pencils and plain paper.
As he continued to wander, he came to realise that maps he carried in his memory would guide him better than maps he drew on paper, because they could change, and in winter, would have snow and ice, and in summer, fields and desert. So he started to tell his audience that they did not need his maps, that maps that they carried in their heads were much more useful, because they would change, but only children seemed to understand, and so he would still leave maps and pictures for townsfolk wherever he wandered.
Time went on, and although he had not forgotten why he had left city, his purpose became less and less important to him.
Over time, he noticed that people seemed to treat him differently. The children would rush toward him still and clutch at his clothes, begging to hear his stories, and adults would welcome him into their homes, offer him work and give him food, but there was a change. There was an air of hushed reverence and deference in their treatment of him and gradually this came to trouble him. One day he stopped at a village that he knew well, and people of village welcomed him with their usual love and respect, but he asked of them "Why this change? For many years now I have travelled, and I've come through your village, and you have always welcomed like a brother, but this, this is different. Why do you now treat me like a…?" and he paused, lost for word.
"Magus, you do not know?" asked one villager. The answer troubled him further, and he shook his head, so villager lead him to village meeting hall. There, inside, and surrounded by people, lay one of his maps, left behind from a previous visit. The villagers parted to let him through, and he approached map, only to notice most curious thing. When he was here last, he had drawn a map of land in winter, with snowcaps and frozen lakes. This, this was a map of land in summer, all green fields and flowing rivers. He peered closer, and was surprised to see movement. If he looked closely enough, he could see meeting hall. And if he looked closer still, he could swear that he could almost see into hall itself, and see himself standing surrounded by awed villagers. He laughed out loud.
"Do you see, Magus?" villager asked.
"I see nothing" said Maker of Maps, kindly, "I see only what I have told you all along, but only children understood." and with that, he picked up map, and tore it into little pieces. He turned to villager, placed his hand upon villager's head and asked "And who has best map, now?"
Adam is an NLP practitioner and Hypnotherapist, as well as a mental health nurse with over a decades experience. He is passionate about the use of language to effect change, and about the ability of people to maximise their own potential.
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