Ki The Spirit of the Wirrior

Secrets Of The Ocean Breath

Breathing Techniques

Get Instant Access

"Fill yourself with ki" (Ki o mitasu). Mataemon Iso, jujutsu master

For centuries Eastern warriors have sought to cultivate an extraordinary form of personal power. It is called "ki" (pronounced "key") in Japan, chi ("chee") in China and prana in India. We really have no one word in English that adequately conveys the full meaning of ki. Approximations include energy, spirit, aura, vitality, breath, life force and inner strength. It's simply ki. Like the businessman or anyone else living at the gut level, the warrior doesn't really care very much what something is called, but only if it actually works and, if it does, how to make it work for him.

After learning how a person could generate ki through simple, practical exercises, one night I actually tried it. The next morning, before boarding a commuter train to take me to a lecture I was to give, I tried it again. I felt as though I were floating two inches off the ground the whole day. 1 experienced an energy and power I had never known before. The day went beautifully, almost blissfully. Everything was absolutely right. It wasn't only that my mind was sharp, the energy was simply phenomenal.

Some time after that 1 had a breakfast meeting with a business friend of mine. He told me that he had been "off" recently. He was going through a rough period. He had a hell of a lot of work to do, hard decisions to make, and was operating under a lot of pressure. But try as he would, he simply could not get himself together, and the work was piling up.

All 1 did that morning in a short fifteen minutes was describe my experience with ki and suggest how he could develop his own if he wanted. Writing on a napkin, I outlined the steps he could follow. They were the very same steps you'll find in this chapter. We paid the check, left, and that was that.

Two weeks later he telephoned to thank me. "Thank me for what?" I asked.

"That ki business," he said. He went on to tell me that since we had talked that morning he had experienced the most fruitful two weeks in his entire life. After our breakfast he had gone to his office and immediately taken out the napkin and followed the steps. "I haven't been the same since." Decisions he couldn't make before, he was now able to make easily. He had felt heavy and listless before; now he felt strong and energetic. What had seemed like insurmountable problems before suddenly had become mere stepping stones to progress.

Those experiences with ki—my own and my friend's—taught me that even a minimum of information about this unusual form of power can lead to positive and sometimes extraordinary changes in a person's life. It's a learning that's been confirmed many times since.

What my friend and I had experienced for ourselves were two features of naiki, the samurai "doctrine of ki" and of all fighting: energy and mental control. We had learned that if you use your mind and body in a certain way you can create an unusual form of energy field. Ki is universal—everyone has it. Right now your ki is:

1. energy

2. a frame of mind or attitude

3. a force that affects other people, and sometimes very powerfully.

1. Ki Is Energy

"The main thing in fighting and living is for your ki to be strong and lively." Shissai

Psychotherapist Wilhelm Reich used the word "streamings" to describe energy in the human body. He said that at times streamings flow, and other times they're dammed up. They flow when you're optimistic, when you're not tense or worried. When they flow you experience an inner glow. You have a completely new sense of courage and self-confidence. Reich's concept, "streamings," may seem strange to some people, but it certainly wouldn't to the samurai. He would call it ki and state that what Reich says it does, it does. And modern technology is helping to prove that the samurai and Reich were right.

According to a research project undertaken by M.I.T. in 1978, there actually is an electrical energy field around the human body, and it can be regulated in exactly the way the samurai regulated it—by breathing in a particular way.

Ki is very closely related to breathing, and that's why it's sometimes translated as "breath." The M.I.T. research demonstrated that the breathing exercises used by the samurai in fact thicken the energy field. Everyone has a ki energy field around him, but martial arts practitioners using ki breathing techniques actually have a different kind of field than the average person. Using modern photographic processes, the field can even be seen!

In one of the most amazing demonstrations of ki, Kirlian photography was used to film karateka* Teruyuki Yamada breaking a one-inch board with a ki-powered blow. Now there's nothing amazing about a punch breaking a board. But it is amazing that the punch never hit the board. Playing the film bacl very slow motion revealed that the board actually snapped when Yamada's fist was still an inch away from it. What had shattered the wood was the pressurized force of the ki field between the board and the fist!

Ki is also curative. For centuries Chinese healers have used their knowledge of chi to manipulate its flow in sick patients. Physicians in various Western countries are currently experimenting with electrical energy stimulation to heal a variety of body injuries, often with extraordinary results. Soviet sports scientists photograph streams of electrical energy in and around athletes' bodies, then use lasers to stimulate its flow to heal injuries and treat fatigue and emotional disturbances, such as depression and anxiety.

2. Ki Is a Frame of Mind

"First see to it that you, yourself, are all right, then think of defeating an opponent."

The Way of the spear

Ki is more than energy. It's an attitude, a frame of mind. Your frame of mind and your ki are basically one and the same thing.

The samurai was first and foremost a superb warrior. But he was something of a psychologist, too—a psychologist of fighting. He knew that three things always go together, like three peas in a pod: frame of mind (shin), energy (ki), and physical power (ryoku). The magical (and practical) formula of "shin makes ki makes ryoku"was true for the samurai and it's just as true for you.

• Ever try to hit a golf ball (or make a speech, type a letter or cook dinner) when your mind was preoccupied with something else? Sure you have. And you probably performed awkwardly. The samurai found exactly the same thing: "If your mind is preoccupied, your ki tenses, and you become awkward." Preoccupied mind, tense ki, awkward golf shot— it happens all the time.

• Ever been afraid that your job was in jeopardy, or that you wouldn't have enough money to pay the bills? One thing you didn't feel was powerful. "The ki of the fearful person is meager." Fearful mind, meager ki

• Have you gone to a party or a meeting or to see a sales prospect thinking, "I don't make a good first impression?" In all likelihood the impression you made was not a very good one. Most of the time what other people think of you is determined by what you expect them to think of you—by your shin and ki.

It makes not one bit of difference if the other person is a new sales prospect or a stranger in a cocktail lounge or if it's five hundred people sitting in an auditorium to hear you speak—if you just assume that they are going to like you and you act as if that's true, you're going to be proven correct almost every time. But it works in reverse too. Assume that the other person is not going to like you—that he's nasty or a cold fish, and act as if he is, and you'll be correct just about all the time. For the samurai, "Form follows ki and ki follows the mind."

You know very well that if your thoughts are irritated or confused—if you're "off"—your commitment to action is not 100 percent and your spirit and energy are weak. But when you know exactly what you want, and what you have to do to reach it, you're able to devote yourself to doing it with a powerful singleness of purpose. When you're like that, your shin, ki and ryoku all working together, there is almost no way of stopping you.

What separates winners from losers? What differentiates Olympic athletes from other world-class competitors? According to a group of scientists who have been studying America's top wrestlers, the difference is not in physical ability. And it's not in training methods: they're pretty standard. The difference is in the athletes' frame of mind, their shin—in what they choose to think.

Men who were eliminated in the 1980 U.S. Olympic trials tended to be more confused or depressed before the match—that's very bad ki— while the winners were positive and relaxed. Those who made the Olympic team were also more in control of their reactions than the losers, who were more likely to become upset emotionally. Without even seeing one wrestling match, the scientists were able to predict 92 percent of the winners by using profiles of the athletes. A positive, optimistic frame of mind (shin) increases energy (ki) and creates explosive power (ryoku). On the other hand, a negative frame of mind reduces your energy and cuts down on your power.

Feeling free and easy, being relaxed and calm, not being caught up in problems or worries\ thinking positively and optimistically, expecting to do well, being committed to what you're doing, not being grumpy or irritable, feeling fearless, buoyant and confident ... all these are positive shin, positive ki, ryoku power-producers.

Experiencing depression, anger or hostility, losing heart, being afraid of something lying ahead of you, worrying, expecting defeat, holding a grudge, feeling timid or uneasy and being confused in action . . . these are examples of negative shin, negative ki, power-depleters.

Think of your own friends. Some are lively and flexible "up" people; others are constantly down. The former are positive-frame-of-mind, positive ki, explosive-power people. The others are negative-frame-of-mind, negative ki and low-power people.

I have two business friends, Jack and Bob, who are very similar with respect to intelligence, ability, knowledge and experience. They grew up together. They even look alike. However, in spite of their many similarities, they're very different. Jack is depressed easily, and sees work life (and personal life too) as something one has to suffer through. Bob, on the other hand, is amazingly buoyant, energetic and optimistic. Both men have suffered setbacks in business and outside it, but they react to them very differently. Jack dwells on his. He complains and becomes grumpy and irritable. Bob picks himself up, and in the samurai spirit of falling and rising again, he reenters the business or personal fray without hesitation.

Jack endures his job the way one endures a dread disease. He's been employed by the same company all of his working life and yet he hasn't been promoted very rapidly. He feels he's going nowhere and he's probably right. He has told me more than once that whatever he touches turns to shit.

Whatever Bob touches turns to gold. He moves quickly from one success to another. After a meteoric career with a large international firm he bought his own company. At the time it wasn't solvent, but in a few short years Bob had transformed it into one of the most successful businesses of its size in the country. He sold it at a hefty profit, and over a four-year period started three other businesses, each of which he runs, and each of which produces a sizeable profit.

The major difference between these two otherwise similar men is the difference in their frame of mind; or, as the samurai would put it, the difference is in their shin.

Because their shin is very different, so is their ki and ryoku. Bob's ki is positive and his power of action is all right there, 100 percent. Jack's ki is negative and his power is almost nonexistent. Their shin is a difference that makes all the difference. It's quite possible you know a Bob and a Jack. The world is full of Bobs and Jacks.

Infused with ki, the samurai was able to perform extraordinary physical feats by directing his ki into the physical power of ryoku. This fed amazing power into his sword strike, just as today it enables martial artists to break slabs of wood, brick and stone, and just as it will enable you to increase your power of action, whatever that action is—be it making a sales presentation, having a good time at a party or handling situations in day-to-day life.

Fighting To Win 3. Ki Is a Force That Affects Other People

Ki is energy and it's your frame of mind. It's also a personal force that you communicate to other people.

Everyone has ki. Some people have a hell of a lot of it. You can feel their power when you stand next to them or merely look at them. They're something special and you know it immediately.

An important principle of ki is that positive creates positive and negative creates negative. Positive ki optimism—warmheartedness, self-confidence and courage—generates an aura of positiveness around you that others respond to in positive ways. Negative ki—grumpiness, anger, hostility, meanness and weakness—creates a negative aura around you that you can actually feel, and that others can feel too. It creates negative responses from people you come in contact with.

A person with weak or negative ki seems to others to be unpleasant, irresolute, diffident, or a pushover. The businessman (or businesswoman) with weak or negative ki inspires confidence in no one, whether it's his own staff or customers. In fact, he turns people off. He annoys and irritates them. People aren't happy being with him, and if they can they avoid him. The salesman with negative ki might just as well not expect to be salesman of the month. But the person with positive ki has the ability to move and enliven others, to inspire them, to stir them to action.

• "Chemistry" is '-ki. We often speak of the "chemistry" between ourselves and others. To the samurai, it's caused by the transmission of ki between people. Most of us have had the experience of meeting and immediately liking a total stranger. There is just that spark—the feeling of affinity, the powerful sense of liking that person. On the other hand, we sometimes encounter people with whom the chemistry is bad, the ki is negative. We just don't like them.

There is chemistry in the business world too. Rosabeth Kanter studied the factors leading to managerial advancement and success in large corporations. What was the most important factor? Was it professional ability? No! The key factor was personal chemistry.

Positive chemistry is another word for charisma, which is also a vital element of business management. Even though the top leader has control over the organization's rewards and punishments, he will excite more support for his policies if he is able to generate charisma, or what we call positive ki.

• Effective communicators and persuaders have high ki. Whenever people communicate, two channels of message transmission are open.. The first is the channel carrying the meaning of the words being spoken. The second channel carries ki. Westerners normally pay far more attention to the first channel and often show little regard for the second. Yet it is very possible that the second channel, the ki channel, is at least equal in importance to the first and perhaps more important.

During several years of training tens of thousands of people, it has become clear to me that the second channel has a far more powerful effect on people than the first. If the trainer has good, positive ki, and like the samurai swordsman is lively, buoyant, energetic and optimistic, the people being trained will be charged up, will have confidence in what is being communicated and will actually learn more.

The cutting edge of any business is its ability to bring in money through sales. And how does the salesman get the prospect to make the decision to buy except by transmitting the message that "my product will benefit you more than your money" along the verbal channel, and "I'm an honest, trustworthy person you want to buy from" along the second channel? Find an extraordinarily successful salesperson and you may find a person with good sales technique, but you will find a person with exceptional ki.

The transmission of second-channel power also occurs in the bedside manner of physicians. The corporate equivalent of the bedside manner is the machine-side or desk-side manner of supervisors and managers. One study after another is demonstrating that the shin of the boss, his or her positive expectations about the ability of the subordinate to do a good job, is more important than the subordinate's aptitude for the job in bringing out high performance. These positive ki bosses, with their positive expectations, communicate "You can do the job," and their workers or subordinates do, even if on paper they lack the ability.

It's the same with parents. A study recently revealed that IQ or aptitude tests and teacher evaluations were less closely associated with students' success in math than parents' expectations—parents' shin.

How to Increase Your Ki and Ryoku Power

"There's something that makes a great athlete great. And I'm not sure it's physical talent. I think it comes from within."

Mike Ditka, football coach

A major part of samurai training, an inner aspect, was not concerned with increasing the fighter's technical abilities at all, but with making a strong, lively ki more available to him. "Ki o mitasu," the samurai is told: "Fill yourself with ki."

How can you ki o mitasu so that you have more energy and action power, a more positive frame of mind, and the ability to make a stronger impact on other people?

There are just three main steps that the samurai followed, the same three, incidentally, that I outlined for my friend on a napkin that morning over breakfast. They are:

1. Transmit your ki by filling your mind with positive ki, ryoku power-producing thoughts.

2. Focus your mind on a particular place on your body called "the one point."

3. Practice deep abdominal, or diaphragmatic breathing.

1. Transmit Your Ki

Any number of events happen to us that seem to provoke anger, annoyance, frustration and worry. Think of the jerks you run into, or the mistreatment, disrespect and deceit you receive from other people from time to time. There often seems to be someone out there trying to screw up your happiness. And think of the disappointments and hard gut punches you're forced to take every once in a while. At times it might seem that you're not moving down the field at all, but that you're being thrown for one loss after another; that your life in and out of business is a series of fourth-down, long-yardage situations. Automatically you're filled with negative ki and losing ryoku power—unless you make a deliberate effort to transmit your ki.

Some people, bless them, seem to be born with the ability to think pleasant, courageous, power-producing thoughts just about all the time. I know people like that, and so do you, probably. For those of us who were not so fortunate as to be born with a predisposition to think upbeat, optimistic thoughts, doing so requires the effort of conscious choice. Our job is this: to choose to think optimistic, ryoku power-creating thoughts instead of unpleasant, strength-sapping ones. It means catching our mind looking for the negative side of things, stopping it, and then making it jump over to the positive, the optimistic, the powerfully charged.

It means creating new thinking habits by choosing—consciously and deliberately—the thoughts we will think.

• Gloria, an artist, used the "positive sfo'n-positive A/-powerful ry-oku" formula to put on a successful exhibition of her work. She positive-kid herself right into big sales of her paintings.

• Mike, normally a glum fellow, used it to approach scary job interviews more optimistically.

• Jim applied shin-ki-ryoku to overcoming his fear of public speaking.

• Diane used it whenever she met defeat at the hands of her diet. Make positive ki choices time after time and you will actually feel energy and power filling every nook and cranny of your being. The following are specific strategies that will help.

Strategies for Transmitting Your Ki "If your ki is settled, your actions will flow." Shissai

• To begin, become more aware of your thought habits. In general, do you think A/-creating, ryoku power-producing thoughts or are you often in a negative ki, power-depleting frame of mind? Some people can tell you right off the bat: "I have to admit it, my mind is like a record playing a funeral dirge. I'm always looking at the negative side of things —complaining, bitching, getting mad, thinking of all the things that could go wrong; not what good things might happen. Am I happy people can't hear what I'm thinking!"

But many simply don't realize how much negative ki they're creating. To find out for yourself, a useful technique is to stop the action for five minutes once a day and write down your thoughts as they pop into your head. Do this for one straight week or whenever you think of doing it. After you've filled a few sheets of paper put a plus sign after each positive ki thought and a minus sign after each negative thought you've listed.

Apply the following rule of thumb in grading your thoughts: any thought that creates power, good chemistry with others, optimism or forward movement gets a plus; and any thought that diminishes your power, creates bad chemistry, is pessimistic or prevents you from moving forward toward your goals and responsibilities gets a minus.

After you have graded the thoughts on your list plus or minus, ask yourself, "Which predominates, positive or negative?"

• Reject negative ki thoughts and replace them with positive, power-producing thoughts. Do this whenever a negative thought rears its ugly head. I call this thought substitution. At the office, at home, at the Rotary Club meeting—everywhere—whenever your thoughts drift off to the negative, stop them, then substitute positive ki thoughts—"I like this person." "I'm having a good time." "We can work this out." "I'm happy." "I'm going to succeed." "I'm going to win." Always reject negative ki and consciously replace it with positive.

• Spit. To add power and determination to your rejection of negative thoughts, spit out the troublesome thought. Go "thoo" and spit out the negative ki thought.

• Pay special attention tojjed alert," negative ki feelings. Whenever you feel any of the following . . . afraid, scared confused, indecisive distracted, upset depressed, sad or miserable worried, nervous, anxious, upset, tense, pressured beaten down, defeated, your spirits sagging listless, unmotivated and bored shy, non-assertive, timid defensive, ready to hit back, bitter guilty . . . your ki is negative, your ryoku power is weak.

Whenever you find yourself slipping into any of these feelings, immediately set off "red alert" alarms in your head. Right away, remind yourself of shin-ki-ryoku. Tell yourself, "Remember, transmit your ki." Click into a more positive frame of mind by substituting plus thoughts for minuses. If you're like most people you will feel recharged immediately.

• Control your expectations. Negative-expectations, negative ki people are that way only out of habit. By developing new, more positive ki thought habits you condition yourself to have positive expectations and you put more power into your actions.

Expect others to like you, expect to make the sale, expect to enjoy the job interview and to get the job, expect to be able to work out whatever business or personal problems confront you. Always jump to the positive side and expect to happen what you want to happen.

• Constantly remind yourself of the importance of positive shin, positive ki. If you work or live with someone else who knows about ki, form a pact. If one of you is becoming tight, irritable or gloomy, the other one is to say, "C'mon now. Don't forget. Transmit your ki."

Write out reminders on three-by-five index cards and put them in prominent places around your house and office. "Plus creates plus." "Good shin creates good ki creates power." Read them aloud, and with feeling, from time to time. On each card draw a large minus sign and a large plus sign. Draw an arrow from the minus to the plus to remind yourself to move your negative thoughts to positive.

You might wish to set fire to your negative ki thoughts. Martial artist Bruce Lee visualized his negative thoughts written on a piece of paper, then saw himself wadding the paper into a ball, lighting it with a match and watching it burn to a crisp. He said the thoughts never returned to disturb him.

• Draw a ring of harmony around yourself wherever you are. You can generate goodwill and cooperation by imagining a yellow ring of harmony around you constantly. Make the ring red or blue if you like—the color doesn't matter. All that matters is your imagining the ring around yourself and making certain that whenever another person passes into it there is cooperation and harmony between you.

• Stop judging others negatively. People can pick up very quickly if you're thinking they're dumb, nasty, unpleasant, overly talkative, ugly, poorly dressed, too highly paid for what they do, etc. If they sense that you don't like them, they won't like you. So instead, like them, respect them, find real value in them, even if you have to work hard at it.

• Be generous with your feelings. If you like people, let them know about it. Transmit your ki to them. Much of the negative ki in business is caused by the supervisor who always criticizes and never praises. Parents often do the same with their children. Simply let people know you appreciate what they're doing and morale will improve immediately—in business and in the home.

• See your positive ki being passed from you to others. Highly developed masters are able to direct a coat of ki to their arm and sustain a hard sword-blow without being injured. I don't suggest you try that, but you may wish to see your positive ki as a ray of white light being transmitted by you to another person or a whole group of people. Actually visualize it moving from you to others under the direction of your mind.

• Maintain your ki even in defeat. Everyone gets beaten. The question is not whether you'll experience defeat, but how you'll handle it when you do. Even the great samurai Musashi took it on the chin once. When you're beaten—by another person, an event, a situation—keep your ki positive and strong. Never let the defeat "penetrate your depths," never let it get to your ki. Be able to say, "I lost this one (job, person, disagreement, etc.) but I'm not defeated. I've failed, but I'm not a failure. I've still got the only weapon I need—me." Even in defeat—especially in defeat—keep your ki going full blast.

2. Focus on Your One Point "When you're afraid, tense the muscles of your stomach and the fear will disappear."

Zen adage

To many Orientals the center of a person's spirit and strength is a point within the abdominal cavity two inches below the navel. This special point is called the tai ten, tanden, tan-tien, tan, seika-tanden, or simply "the one point." In addition to being your body's center of gravity, the one point is also the center of ki. The one point is comparable to the boiler of a steam engine. When your mind is concentrated on it, energy is created and distributed throughout your body, and your body is able to move quickly and powerfully.

The fighter, the bushi, didn't discover the power of the one point, or naiki, the doctrine of ki. All he did was use the one point for its applications to battle. He followed the edict, "Whether sitting, standing or moving, you must always take care that your lower abdomen is filled with strength."

R. E. West, a powerfully built Western black belt judoka (practitioner of judo) who knew very little about ki and the one point, asked an old, 130-pound Japanese master for a demonstration of its power. The two men sat on their knees facing each other. Each placed his right hand on the other's chest. Hard as West tried, he couldn't budge the old man. Then the old man gave a push and West flew backward. The master then said it was only because of the power in his one point that he could knock West over.

The way to draw the power of ki is very easy. Just concentrate your mind fully on your one point. Look at your stomach and find the point two inches directly below your navel. Now press it hard with your finger. This will leave a residual feeling of where the one point is. Then simply visualize. Don't look at it, just imagine it as a point, a dot.

Now that you've located the one point, practice beginning your everyday actions with your attention on it until it becomes second nature to you. Before starting any task, any task at all, first think of your one point —sitting down at your desk, starting a meeting, going to a party, entering a sales conference—whatever. If you devote yourself to concentrating on your one point it will gradually become a habit. Until it does you will have to remind yourself: "Hey, concentrate on your one point."

When you're able to remember to begin at least some of your acts from the one point, become a little more ambitious. Get in the habit of concentrating on the one point when you're upset or irritated. You'll find yourself becoming calm and strong at the same time.

After you've started the habit of one-point concentration, begin to use it during times of more severe tension and nervousness. When you're going into combat against an inner or outer opponent, concentrate your mind on your one point. When you're troubled and your thoughts and emotions are shooting around like rockets, concentrate on your one point. Whenever you need to, simply concentrate on your one point.

If you find the idea of concentrating on your one point a little strange or you're skeptical or feel odd doing it, don't worry about it, just do it anyway. It will work.

3. Practice Deep, Abdominal Breathing

"If you know the art of breathing you have the strength, wisdom and courage of ten tigers."

Chinese adage

Breathe the right way. When you do you fill yourself with ki. It courses through your body, exhilarating you in ways you haven't even imagined yet, and it increases the energy field around you.

The advice to breathe the right way may sound silly and even insulting. "Hell," you say, "I've been breathing all my life. I'm alive because I breathe. No one has to teach me to breathe."

And of course you're right. The problem is, however, that while the way we breathe is sufficient for most of our life-sustaining needs, it isn't sufficient to create increased supplies of ki.

There is breathing high and breathing low. Westerners breathe high. We are taught "stomach in, chest out." Our breathing is done high in our chest. Ki breathing is done low. It's bringing the inhaled air far down in the lungs. In other words, as far as ki development is concerned we have learned to breathe wrong. Right breathing is "chest in, stomach out." It's breathing from the abdomen—it's diaphragmatic breathing.

Deep abdominal, diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to have particular advantages over "high chest," shallow breathing. Medical researchers estimate that up to 80 percent of all diseases are attributable to nervous problems. Worry, nervousness, anger and stress narrow our capillaries and restrict the flow of blood carrying fresh oxygen. By breathing the right way, you can open your capillaries and send oxygen freely throughout your body. Diaphragmatic ki breathing also increases your physical strength. That's another reason why the samurai was so interested in his sanchin, "breathing exercises."

If you're conscientious about practicing your ki breathing you may come to breathe this way all the time. Most people, however, even if they don't forever after breathe in the ki way, use it as an alternative way of breathing. When confronted with disturbing situations, when in trouble or doubt, or when they're in need of a pick-me-up, they simply drop their normal high chest breathing and launch into deep abdominal ki breathing.

To prepare yourself to use ki breathing whenever you wish you will literally need to get the feel of how to do it. Here is an easy-to-follow process:

• Get in a comfortable, relaxed position—your weight on your legs and feet, lying on your back, or sitting comfortably.

• Concentrate your attention on your one point. Remember it's the center of gravity point located two inches below your navel. Throughout your ki breathing keep your mind on your one point. When your thoughts wander from it don't fight them, just think of your one point.

• Get rid of the carbon dioxide in your lungs by opening your mouth and making a slow, steady "haaa" sound as you breathe out for twenty seconds. When you think you're out of breath make one last hard "ha."

• Inhale slowly, evenly and deeply through your nose in one uninterrupted motion taking four or five seconds. Concentrate on bringing your breath far down. Imagine your diaphragm swelling out like a balloon and your breath pressing your one point from inside your stomach. Your breathing should be going on in your diaphragm and not in your chest. Your chest should be moving very little, if at all.

• Your attention still on your one point, and your breath pressing against it, hold your breath for five to ten seconds.

• Then exhale deeply, but slowly and evenly through your mouth. Consciously pull in your abdominal muscle to force out as much carbon dioxide as possible. If you get out of breath just stop and breathe in your usual way for a few seconds. Then start your ki breathing again.

Try to practice this method of ki breathing at least five minutes twice each day. If you set aside time every day for ki breathing you'll feel the effects of it not only when you're actually doing it, but throughout the day.

If you're like a lot of people and twice a day is asking a lot, at least learn how to do your breathing so

Fighting To Win you can launch into it when you're upset or unsettled, or when you just feel like it.

It doesn't take long to get the hang of it and once you do you can do it whenever you wish. When your ki is lively, you react confidently and quickly. If it's clouded and negative, you hesitate and become awkward and indecisive. Therefore, keep your ki flowing all day long.

After you have become accustomed to deep abdominal ki breathing you can do it anywhere—in a cab, on a train, at your desk, while walking down the street, in an elevator. Whenever you need ki simply breathe down to your one point.

Points to Remember: Ki: The Spirit of the Warrior

• Remember to do what the chapter asks you to—"Fill yourself with ki." Do it as often as you can. In particular, do it to increase your expectations of success and whenever you experience defeat.

• Ki is energy, a frame of mind or attitude, and it's a force that you communicate to other people.

• Positive ki creates positive power in your actions and positive responses in others. Negative ki creates negative actions and responses.

• Make certain you never forget the personal power formula of shin-ki-ryoku.. Your frame of mind determines how much energy you have and the amount of power you live and work with. You can choose how much power you will communicate by choosing what to think.

• To increase your ki and ryoku power, apply the three samurai steps of (1) transmitting your ki, (2) concentrating on your one point two inches below your navel and (3) breathing diaphragmatically.

• The time will come when you realize you have been neglecting your ki development. Whenever that happens, go back to this chapter and refresh your memory of how you can increase your ki and ryoku power whenever you want to.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Universal Attraction Law

Universal Attraction Law

For the intents of this book, the word spirituality concerns your collection of notions about reality, including your discernment of how reality works, as well as your personal role in the universe.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment