Ki-Training: A Bare Introduction

The path of Haragei has no end, yet its effects are instantaneous.

The path of Haragei aims at freedom, lightness, pleasure, spontaneity and expansive joy.

In Zen we say that Awareness Itself is the Natural Buddha. (Note that this Awareness -- capital "A" -- isn't the small awareness of so-called beings but that of Great Space itself. And the "Natural Buddha" isn't Shakyamuni but Dainichi.)

Innately, Awareness is unstained and is operating constantly; it's the Light by which one sees everything to be seen. As a Taoist meditation manual tells us, this Light is also the intrinsic "Hearing" power by which we discern sounds. The sense organs, body, brain and its electrochemical reactions are nothing to This.

Does this sound mystical? Okay, it is mystical. So let's turn to Ki training. This is similar to the Tibetan Trul Khor and the Chinese Qi Gong. It's about working with the flow of energy in your own body. Energy goes where attention and intention goes. Become the master of your own energetic attention and intention and you can be the master of everything.

The aim of Ki training is to reverse-anti-engineer the factors that have made you harried and stressed out all the time. With less harry and stress in your life, you will more easily revert to the "natural state." You will be amazed at the keenness of your senses and the simple pleasure you feel in every movement. This is what being alive is all about. Too bad we've all suffered for so long from "thinking" and from various "negative" emotional states, because This is just This -- it's always been here.

How should you begin? Why not begin with becoming more aware (in the "mindfulness" sense) of how you are holding your body right now. What is the relation of your chin to your chest, for example? Where is your gaze set? Is there any tension in your jaw?

Negative emotions correlate with tenseness in the chest, shoulders, neck, and jaw. Note how feeling "anger" instantly makes your ribs feel tight. Note how feeling "scorn" makes your lips purse and eyes narrow, and how in a disgusted "sneer" your lips draw back from your teeth. Note how "worry" furrows your brow. Note how longing makes your eyes moist. Note how sadness causes your solar plexus to tighten and cut off your breathing.

So, how do we fix this? Do you try to change the way we feel about life, our ideas about life, or do we work directly with the body and awareness? Ki training takes the route of working directly with the body and awareness. Wonderful! This way you don't need to change your whole personality and you can get instant results. Master your emotions; master your thinking. Then nothing can stop you. That's Ki training.

By dropping "energy" downward and relaxing your whole upper body, you will feel an immediate lightening of your "spirit" -- almost like levitation. Try it. Isn't that amazing?

Someone is shouting at you, trying to disturb you and make you angry or tense. Focus on your eyelids. Put all your concentration there. Suddenly a light feeling of calmness spreads through your face, doesn't it? Did you laugh? Some people start laughing happily as soon as they try this experiment. Note how just this focus on the eyelids makes your whole body feel strangely "clarified" in a kind of "dark awareness." Why? It's because the energy you put into focussing on your eyelids suddenly freed you from inner dialogue and its turmoil, from painful feelings and trying to evade or repress them, and from any concern with "what should I say to make this asshole suffer for making me suffer like this?"

Focusing on your eyelids made you free. You can now respond to a painful "external" situation however you want. You didn't even have to struggle to control your emotions. You didn't have to read a book about happiness written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

If you've read even this far, and tried out even one of the techniques I've suggested, you are now launched on the path of Pure Yoga, and you can advance as slowly or as quickly as you like, depending on your needs.

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