Esoteric Martial Arts of Zen:
Training Methods from the Patriarch
by Edward Orem, PhD
Copyright, Edward Orem, 1999
Also by the author:
Ā Seng Ping Tao: Path of the Warrior Monk, available on-line: http://eorem.tripod.com/zenwarriormonk.html
And 37 training videos in areas of Chi-Kung, Tíai-chi Chíuan, Ch'uan Fa Kempo, Shaolin Ch'uan, health and longevity arts.
z Chinese Medicine, Meditation, and Martial Arts
z A Monk Knocks at the Temple Gate
z Timeless Fires, Inner Mirrors
z Training Program for Shi Pa Lo Han Shou/18 Methods of the† Enlightened Ones: Written and visual instructions†
z Integrating Action, Education, and Conscious Evolution
z Swept Path,† Polished Jewels
z Kinetic Medicine as Higher Education
z A Moment of Truth for Western Educators
z Principles of True Higher Education
z Guidelines for Integrated, Whole-Human Higher Education
z Training Program for Yi Jin Ching/Muscle Change Classic: Written†† and visual instructions
z About the Author
Chinese Medicine, Meditation, and Martial Arts: Revealing the Ancient Connection
The notion of "holistic" healing is a newcomer to Western health care delivery. In fact, it is still so strange that it is regarded with suspicion, disdain, or fear by many within the allopathic medical community. Letís put this idea of whole-human development into proper perspective.
The Ancient Ones of China long ago devised a wholly integrated system of how to actualize human potential: in 2600 BC, Huang Ti (the "Yellow Emperor") put forward into writing the first whole-system thesis of medicine.
Huang Ti found that humans needed to integrate body, mind, and spirit in their lifestyles if they wanted to have long-term health. This paved the way for the Chinese to develop a myriad of practices aimed at conscious evolution.
The ideas in Chinese medicine about effective health care delivery come directly from the roots of their ancient world-views. Vitality and tranquility constitute the two goals of both the philosopher-physician of old China and the modern Chinese MD. (And of course these goals were and still are chief targets of Chinese martial and yoga training.)
Your first thought might be, "Surely the methods have changed significantly since ancient times." The reality is that since its inception 4,600 years ago, the Chinese paradigm of health and healing has changed little, and then only superficially. Given the immense transformations evident in western allopathic ideas and practices within the last 100 years, it may be difficult for us to grasp the reasons for the enduring quality of Chinese medicine.
Here is the pivotal distinction between Western and virtually every Eastern medical practice: Whereas living to a ripe old age is the Western end-goal, virtually all native Asian medical systems explicitly put spiritual growth as the primary goal of life, with a sound body and mind as the best vehicle to get there. And the longer you can maintain the vehicle to learn from it and to extract the essences of spiritual growth, the better.
Buddhism and Taoism have contributed immense practical (and low cost) information about healing for the common man. One of the main goals of both these traditions of health training is to get the student (and/or patient) to "lose his mind in order to come to his senses." By this we mean that until the hyperactive cerebral cortex is under a far-sighted, health-centered control, we are literally "out-of-step" with the planet.
Iíll be clear about this: The practices of meditation, chi-kung, Tíai-chi Chíuan (or any one of scores of other integral training systems) lowers the practitionerís internal bio-rhythms to @ 4.5 Ė 6 HZ per minute. This puts the studentís inner pulse in synch with the Earthís inner pulse. This is a good thing for all beings. Under-estimating the multi-dimensions of your heart beating with the Earthís pulse would be a "grave" errorÖ
Those disciplines mentioned and other psychophysical training systems also serve to allow the parasympathetic nervous system to "run the store." Chinese medicine puts great focus on the rejuvenation quality of fundamental energies, which we refer to as "pre-natal." Taoist healing systems define man as being composed of body, energy, and consciousness. And each of these has "before birth" and "post-partum" characteristics. The idea here is that culture modifies and suppresses in varying amounts the true nature and powers of humans. So, the more we are in touch with the "real" and "natural" human, the healthier and more spiritually growth-oriented we are.
Hundreds of training systems exist to help man maximize his time on earth. Some of the ancient ways that the Chinese have devised to help humans store energy, strengthen their radiant shield of protection, and consciously choose to evolve include:
° Chanting and singing;
° Sacred dance;
° Breath control;
° Standing immobile for long periods;
° Visualizing and directing celestial and earth energies;
° Kinetic prayer, or moving meditation;
° Diet and fasting;
° Sitting still, not-doing;
° Martial and yogic arts.
Eastern cultures have recognized for many thousands of years that the proper study of martial arts is a "royal road" to superb health, high levels of fitness, and higher consciousness development. After years of focused attention, the martial artist comes to realize the underlying fundamentals of the training: Release from the constraints of time and space, triumphs over limitations of the physical body, and dissolution of ego become very real and frequent training experiences.
Perhaps our chief claim to serious consideration as practitioners of traditional disciplines of higher self-cultivation lies in the outright challenge that we present to conventional opinion. Our bodies are products of multiple billions of years of evolving genetic material and pure consciousness.
While secular (and many wanna-be sacred) communities stress material gain, intellectualism and ego enhancement as primary functions for humans, our focus remains on these questions:
o How do we best arrive at a deep understanding of this wonderful vehicle, the mind-body?
o What keys to evolution does this repository of natural law hold for us?
o What training is most effective in extracting the essence from this human life?
Whole-system health care considers man to be primarily spiritual in nature, and therefore focuses on his spiritual development. It ties us in an integrated way to energy expressions of the universe and the earth. In the language of the Taoist sage, when universal and earth energies meet in a balanced fashion, a human is the result, and this human is called the "Superior Man" or an "Immortal."
Holistic health delivery of the Ancients says the proper starting place for conscious evolution into a "Superior" person is the focus on inner life energies, rather than on the physical material of the external world. Whole-system healing arts work from the central notion that the proper tool for a manís spiritual development is his intuition. This is not to say that the brainís tools of reason and intellectual knowledge arenít valued and used. They are, but these tools are recognized as limited, insufficient, and only effective in their proper place.
Direct bonding of individual self to greater Self happens as an intuitive, non-verbal understanding, and the frontal lobe has to shut up for change and ride in the back of the bus. (This approach also delivers us from wasting time with ego-based intellectual speculation about unknowable metaphysical matters.)††††††††
A short attention span is a very real, very debilitating trait of most humans. On the plus side, we have a great capacity for generating energy. The problem is that too often our cultures present spiritually unfit models oriented to secular paradigms for us to emulate, and many of us just follow along with action that stunts our development. Both Buddhist and Taoist healing systems (i.e. medicine, meditation, martial arts) recognize the weakness, and regard such a person as being unawakened and in a state of energy imbalance with a likelihood of chronic suffering.
This is not surprising as we seem to gravitate heavily toward satisfying the senses, temporarilyóthen la-la, off to pursue the next desire. That cycle is mankindís favorite pursuit, and is manís heaviest addiction. All poor lifestyle choices and substance abuse problems are small branches of this mainline addiction that we have for immediate gratification of sensuous desires.
That cycle will make us die young if we donít break the habit of knee-jerk reaction to material pleasures. And early death is not only for that individual addicted to the material gratification: it also reflects on the possibility of an early downfall of our species. This is natureís universal web, and each of us weaves a strand connected to the whole fabric. If you over-consume (whether itís food, drink, clothes, cars, sex, whatever) it weakens your physical self and stunts your spiritóplus that exact same effect ripples all over the planet. We canít depend on the vested business interest of mainstream culture, the government, or the government-run schools to provide information that will keep us healthy and strong, living long and spiritually-rich lives. We all know what their agenda is: to translate human life into bottom-line profit, to make us into economic units that fuel the machinery of the modern corporate world.
My point is this: Stick to the ancient ways (no matter where they come from), and make them a living, vibrant part of your life. I have a personal rule of thumb which Iíd like to share: If the model of behavior (whether for healing, lifestyle, or education), if that model isnít at least 500 years old, Iím suspicious of it.
All of us have a power handed down through thousands of generations of ancestors who spent countless hours, years, and lives researching, testing how to live internally balanced within ourselves, with each other, with the earth and the universal forces. The old ways will help us to remember that power, and will teach us to generate and direct it at will.
A Monk Knocks at the Temple Gate
Most Buddhist practices are mind-only cultivation techniques, attributing little importance to the wisdom and memory of the body vehicle. Even the majority of those in position of leadership within the Zen sect are either unaware of or purposefully neglect a large body of integral psycho-physical teachings from the very founder, Bodhidharma.
This is puzzling, as Zen practitioners certainly extol the virtues of maintaining a firm grasp of the obvious. In any event, the evasion and or aversion to these ancient, core practices allows the Zen leadership to neatly avoid an ancient, core dilemma of humanity.
We are living at a time when our identity as beings unified in body and mind is slipping from collective consciousness. This is not a modern problem. The accelerated speed of our degradation is recent, but the dilemma has been with us for many thousands of years: In the face of daily duties, how can we maintain or regain unity of mind and body?
Fortunately, the greater collection of inner research and physical development practices addressing this problem has been preserved in a body of literature and practices which links natural medicine, Buddhist and Taoist methods of self-development, superb health, and high levels of fitness. These doctrines are still vibrating with force and energy throughout the world everyday in the practice of the ancient Chinese martial arts.
Authentic Chinese boxing and yogic arts from the Buddhist Shaolin Temple is a discovery, exploration, and study of the mind through the medium of the body. Conversely, in these same "martial" arts, the body is studied through exploration of consciousness as the principal vehicle.
What Buddhism terms the "Doctrine of Elements" deals directly with fundamentals central to our study of mind and body in these arts. The Doctrine is taught to students through the gradual understanding of relationships between constituents of whatever subject being scrutinized. The process of realization incorporates pictures, sound, shapes, and movement. Often the resulting understanding of the Doctrine manifests physically as a mandala or pattern.
In Shaolin Temple Boxing we have several concentration and meditation study methods. One method is to work with pre-arranged patterns of movement, which we refer to as "forms" (Chinese hsing, Japanese kata). Initially the student is content with gross motor coordination between one constituent move and the next in the hsing (a formidable enough task for most, requiring hundreds of hours of concentration and sweat equity). Next the novice starts wondering how each move translates into a self-defense application.
After months and years of focused attention, the real reasons for the preservation of these forms, these patterns of understanding, become evident in the training: Release from the constraints of time and space, triumphs over limitations of the physical body, and dissolution of self become very real and frequent training experiences.
Brick-by-elemental-brick the novice has constructed his mandala: The form has become a kinetic vehicle for understanding the wordless mind and for changing consciousness.
For several millennia these interlocking elemental principles have characterized the marriage of traditional martial studies with esoteric schools of consciousness training. Often the underlying, generating principles are the most ignored. Chinese Temple Boxing is not what the public perceives it to be; it is not what the media "experts" think it is; and it certainly isn't what most students of other martial arts believe of it. Temple Boxing can still hold up its head in a largely uncomprehending and scornful mainstream society precisely because of what is not seen of its nature.
The wandering mendicant from southern India who showed up at the gates of the Shaolin Temple at the base of Songshan Mountain in 527 AD wasn't the first messenger of the Dharma to appear there. But he did remind the resident monks of their responsibility to integrate body and mind practices.
Bodhidharma carried little more than his monk's robe, staff, and begging bowl, but it was his unseen cultural baggage that reflected the enormous wealth of the typically well-endowed member of the Indian Warrior caste. He carried with him a privileged educational background that included many fields of learning, exhaustive knowledge of the Vedas, equally intensive work in the comparatively new "Thunderbolt" (Sanskrit vajra) meditation (Sansk. dhyanna, Chin. channa, Jap. zenna) arts of Mahayana Buddhism, and of course a princely amount of training in the Royal arts of combat, both armed and unarmed.
All of ancient Asia looked west to India for its higher inspirations in every field. At that time, all forms of advanced knowledge (medicine, philosophy, literature, religion) flowed from that great Mother of cultures, India. Tamo was following a well-charted, centuries-old current of thought flowing from Mother India. The date 527 AD may seem ancient to some, but in fact that event nearly 1,500 years ago signifies the latter end of a process of cultural influences that was on-going for the previous 3,000 years.
There is no evidence that Tamo taught martial technique at Shaolin. His contributions were subtler in appearance and more profound in application, outlasting any fighting maneuvers. Tamo's "triple jewel" system of self-development came directly from his spiritual mentors in India. The integral features of the three-pronged study (including 18 Hands of the Arhat, Muscle and Tendon Changing Classic, and Marrow-Washing Classic) managed to challenge the established patterns and practices of many Chinese Buddhist masters teaching "enlightenment." The Classics introduced the Chinese to the idea of doing more than just seated meditation for self-cultivation. The reaction of the priesthood status quo was highly predictable then, just as it is now.
Briefly, the Shi Pa Lo Han Shou (18 Hands of the Arhat) is a three-part series (six movements to each part) designed to raise the over-all health and fitness of the monks debilitated by either asceticism or the lethargy of too much sitting meditation. The Yi Chin Ching (Tendon and Muscle Changing Classic) requires the student to perform 22 isotonic exercises for the purpose of generating and controlling one's internal energy (Chin. chi, Jap. ki, Sansk. prana).
The final "jewel" adds to the reservoir of vast energies and esoteric abilities (Sansk. siddhi), with even more potent techniques emphasizing self-massage to bring about merging of internal energy with spirit (Chin. shen). The goal of Shii Soei Ching (Marrow-Washing Classic) is liberation from desire and other causes of human suffering, using the chi previously stored to literally wash one's bone marrow and brain tissue. The hard lesson here is that one must train both mind and (subtle) body in order to be capable of self-realization, enlightenment, liberation.
Even at that early time of the Sixth Century, historical evidence suggests that Chinese martial arts had been systematized for over 2,000 years. Evidence further leads us to the conclusion that no internal energy work (Chin. chi-kung) was part of Shaolin training before Tamo's arrival.
The merging of the older, esoteric Indian traditions of spiritual cultivation with the Chinese focus on external martial technique marked the beginning of a new era in Chinese martial arts. Thanks to the unorthodox teachings of a radical monk, the Shaolin Temple re-united the mind-body doctrine of Zen in China, the Shaolin Temple became the birthplace of Chinese martial chi-kung studies, and the Temple remained thereafter on the cutting edge of applied research in China to integrate external and internal training methods. But to Bodhidharma, all this was old (Ar-) hat, as we shall see.
Timeless Fires,† Inner Mirrors
The deepest, most profound well-spring of these esoteric Indian disciplines was the Ksatreya, the ancient caste of warriors and kings. If we hope to understand the goals and methods of Bodhidharma, we're obligated to re-visit that cultural milieu to the best of our research abilities.
When digging for root sources of influences on Asian spiritual and martial studies, one conclusion jumps out immediately: India provides the richest, longest-lasting legacies. Long before the classical Greek states or Chinese dynasties could muster beyond primitive social conditions, India had evolved refined political systems and awesomely-organized standing armies--all clothed in a pervasive religious and philosophical paradigm without peer in human history.
Sacred scriptures such as the Vedas and associated literature provide insights as to how higher moral codes were applied to everyday living, recounting the challenges of early Indians in their journey of self-evolution. As practical moral flagships, these scriptures often considered the ethics of warfare and reached conclusions that clearly established the spiritual potential of warriorhood.
Of course, those ancient sages were referring to intensely illuminating experiences of looking into the polished mirror of the self when locked in combat mano-a-mano, eyeball-to-eyeball--hardly comparable to the barbarism of remote, dispassionate carnage sought by modern technology, with soldiers pulling triggers and government employees pushing red buttons.
As students of the ancient arts, we need to acknowledge this fundamental truth inherent to our training: The heightened awareness that we forge with inner fires on iron anvils of self-discipline furthers human evolution. This is not easily understood by those who are not involved in the training and/or by those who are guided through life by the question "Where's the money in that?"
Fundamental truths and time-tested conclusions were manifested and codified within the Ksatreya caste, the nobly-born, elite warrior force trained from early childhood in armed and unarmed martial arts, as well as in spiritual practices. Contrary to modern military and war college curricula, the Ksatreya studied all available literature, history, religion, and philosophy. Tests and exams in these fields of learning were required before membership into the martial brotherhood was proffered.
One body of literature, the Mahabharata (said to be still the most popular book dramatized in modern India), espouses the ethical conduct of the noble Ksatreya:
ō Those who attack by the use of words should only be fought with words.
ō A noble warrior should only fight his equal in battle.
ō †One should strike only after giving due notice.
ō †In battle, the noble warrior does not strike one who is in conference with another, one who is panicked, or one who is unprepared for battle.
ō A noble warrior should not strike one who is tired, weeping, unwilling to fight, ill, or one who cries surrender.
ō †A noble warrior defends all who have surrendered, even an enemy.
ō †It is the noble warrior's duty to fight under the principle of "righteous conquest," i.e. for the righting of wrongs or injustices, regardless of whom the transgressors might be.
The Ksatreya code lends itself easily to comparisons with the knighthood ethics and chivalrous conduct of medieval heroes of Europe, China, Japan. Traditions of the sanctity of the blade, of self-sacrifice, and of being heroes to the common folk were all held in common, with India being the birthplace of such standards.
The inner teachings (named vajramukti) of the noble warriors of India were considered to be so sacrosanct that only persons of high moral character were worthy students. The literal meaning of vajramukti indicates "Thunderbolt Hands." Vajra or "Thunderbolt" referred to the favorite weapon of the deity Indra, and begs an attitude of respect for the power of the training. Vajramukti was so venerated that it was a term used by both Brahman priests and the Ksatreyas to describe their disciplines.
By the time of the birth of Gautama Shakyamuni (Buddha, the Enlightened One) in 563 BC, traditions of the noble and holy warriorhood were already well in place. Early records about the Buddha's childhood indicate his instruction in the martial vajramukti arts of the Ksatreya began at age seven.
A full millennium later Bodhidharma, the first Patriarch of Chan/Zen Buddhism, was likewise born into the Hindu Brahman military class of kings and warriors, and engaged in much of the same training appropriate for his station--at least until he took up the life of a Mahayana Buddhist monk in a southeastern India monastery.
By the time Tamo tramped through the Jade Gate on the dusty Emperorís Road (as the Silk Road was then known) into China around 520 AD, his modification of the orthodox Mahayana teachings was intact. Briefly, this radical counter-pointed his peers by advocating mind-body integration over book knowledge and intellectualism. His methods centered on using difficult psychophysical work as the vehicle for direct pointing at the soul of man. But his goals were strictly mainstream Buddhism: the cessation of suffering, the end of karmic attachment, enlightenment in this lifetime.
Training Program: Shi Pa Lo Han Shou
Tamoís system does have priorities in its structure: 1) The three parts of the triple jewel are to be followed in order; 2) No part stands alone; 3) Each part lasts three years, with a nine-year total required for the initial study. While the first section, Shi Pa Lo Han Shou, properly focuses on readying the physical body for subtler studies, the work of the latter two "jewels" cultivates prana/chi, then dovetails to include cultivation of spirit (Chin. Shen).
Central to all parts of these studies is focus on mental attention, coupled with breath regulation. Without the force of mental intent moving chi through the "Small Universe" route along with diaphragmatic breathing, the results will not be complete. One of the desired outcomes in training with 18 Methods of the Enlightened One is the activation and moving of internal energy at will, first along pathways of the "Small Universe," and later in the studies to all parts of the body. This cannot be achieved without proper control of the mischievous "monkey mind." Ancillary benefits include joint loosening, relaxation, better coordination, bolstering of the immune system, muscle stretching and strengthening.
The system is characterized not only by how little space is required for its practice, but also by the intensity of mental effort required to perform its lengthy series of hypo-gastric exercises. The results from mindful execution of correct technique speak for themselves: a high state of health, great stamina, tremendous internal power, confrontation of oneís own lethargy, elimination of inner dialog, realizations of the highest order. Thus does the warrior monk ring the clear bell of the inner dawn.
This is a three-year commitment, to be performed daily, preferably early when air and mind are fresh. All breathing is hypo-gastric and without tension. Muscular contractions are light and relaxed throughout the body. Mental awakening and guidance of chi along the Small Universe pathway are of prime importance. The key is to visualize the progression of the inner light as it moves through major junctions and the two chief channels (Du Mai/Back Mid-line; and Ren Mai/Front Mid-line).
On inhalation chi is brought through the nostrils and straight down the front of the body into the tan tien in the lower abdomen, where it pools before passing through the trunk to the lower spine; there it rises straight up the back, over the top of the head, following the sagital crest of the skull and down the face to the area between the nose and septum. That is the end of inhalation, and it describes the Du Mai or Governing Channel portion of this breath- and mind-control training.
The exhalation begins with the Ren Mai or Conception Channel just below the lower lip, and continues straight down the front of the body until the breath finishes at the tan tien where it began.
The 18 Methods of the Enlightened One is divided into six sets of three techniques for each set. Some are performed from a centrist position, while others are executed bilaterally, in mirror images, on both sides of the body. The end of each set is indicated with its own standing meditation posture.
Each of the six sets of three exercises is indicated by a Roman numeral in the following instructions. The first two exercises of each set is named, followed by a number in parenthesis; that number indicates the number of repetitions for that particular movement. The third exercise of each set is a standing meditation posture; each posture is held for at least one minute, and may be increased as you become more skillful in tethering the monkey.
I. 1. Two Fists Push Down (5): From a natural standing posture (Fig. 1), step to the side into a high Horse stance, beginning inhalation as you step. Simultaneously, both fists are raised slowly until inhalation is completed, with the fists at chest level (Fig. 2). Bend over slightly from the waist (Fig. 3), and push both fists down with exhalation completed at the extension of both arms (Fig. 4). Inhalation begins as hands relax (Fig. 5), the spine straightens (Fig. 6), and fists once more are brought up to the chest to finish the in-breath (Fig. 7). Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-1-4.JPG† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-5-8.JPG
2. Monkey Climbs Tree (25) and Monkey Shakes Arms (10): From a high Horse posture, one arm is raised above the head while the other assumes an extended lower position (Fig. 8). At a rather brisk pace, both arms move up and down, coordinating with the respiratory cycle (Figs. 9, 10). Monkey Shakes Arms also begins from a high Horse: Bend forward from the waist and allow one shoulder to twist slightly downward as the corresponding arm dangles (Fig. 11). Remain bent over to twist and dangle the opposite shoulder and arms downward (Fig. 12). This cycle is repeated briskly (Fig. 13). Assume a natural posture when completed. Photos for these postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-5-8.JPG†††††††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-9-12.JPG† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-13-16.JPG
3. Meditation Stance: Hold Thighs in Horse (Fig. 14):††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-13-16.JPG
II. 1. Open Two Hands to Sides (5): From your Natural Stance, step to the side into a high Horse, bringing your fists up as you inhale (Fig. 15). The exhalation begins as you open your hands with palms down (Fig. 16) to push both in a semi-circle to your side (Fig. 17); the exhale finishes when your hands reach their respective apex (Fig. 18). Inhale slowly as your hands gather energy at your upper chest area (Fig. 19). Begin exhalation as your open hands begin their semi-circular ascent on the opposite side (Figs. 20,21); exhalation continues and finishes as the hands move up to their apex (Fig. 22). Resume our Natural posture when repetitions are completed. Photos for the above postures are here:††††††††††††††† ††http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-17-20.JPG††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-21-24.JPG
2. Crane Pecks Shrimp (2): From the previous Natural stance, cross your left foot behind the right into a Hidden Step or Dragon posture as your right arm is brought to shoulder level with right vertical fist; left palm presses lightly down on right forearm (Fig. 23). Keeping left leg bent and right leg almost straight, bend forward until right fist touches ground; this is the end of exhalation (Fig. 24; Fig. 25 shows side view). Inhale as you rise to repeat on same side (Fig. 26). Before beginning reps on opposite side, resume Natural posture to calm breathing, then place your right foot behind left foot into Hidden Step as your left arm rises to shoulder level with a left standing fist; your right hand presses lightly on left forearm as inhalation is completed (Fig. 27). Bend forward until your left fist touches the ground and exhalation is finished (Fig. 28; Fig. 29 shows side view). Inhale as you rise to repeat on same side (Fig. 30). Assume Natural stance when reps are completed. Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-21-24.JPG††††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh-25-28.JPG†††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh29-32.JPG
3. Meditation Stance: Monkey Offers Fruit: From the Natural stance, step to the side into a high Horse, and begin to inhale as both hands travel up the bodyís centerline (Fig. 31). Exhalation is completed as both palms open out and to sides at shoulder level elbows are slightly bent (Fig. 32). Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh29-32.JPG Breathe hypo-gastrically when meditating.
III. 1. Kick with Closed Hand (5): From Natural stance, step back into left Bow stance (Fig. 33; Fig. 34 shows side view). Right leg then swings forward and up with knee straight; as foot reaches chest level, right and left palm arc from sides to meet at upper centerline (Fig. 35; Fig. 36 shows side view). Your leg swings back down to resume previous left Bow stance (Fig. 37) to continue reps on that same side. After finishing the reps, assume Natural stance before stepping back into right Bow (Fig. 38). Left foot then swings forward and u while left fist and right palm arc together (Fig. 39; Fig. 40 shows side-view). Your left foot then immediately swings back to resume right Bow (Fig. 41) before completing reps on that side. Assume Natural stance when finished. Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh33-36.JPG†† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh37-40.JPG††††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh41-44.JPG
2. Step Up with folded Elbow and Twist (5). From Natural stance, step back into left bow (Fig. 42). Right foot then crosses in front and is placed at right angle to left foot; at same time, twist trunk to right, fold and pull left elbow above head with right hand (Fig. 43), then step back to assume left Bow (Fig. 44). Before exercising other side of body with this movement, assume Natural stance. Then step back to assume right Bow (Fig. 45). Left foot then crosses in front and is placed at right angle to right foot; at same time, fold and pull right elbow above head with left hand as you twist your trunk to left (Fig. 46). Step back to assume right Bow stance (Fig. 47) before continuing reps on same side. Assume Natural posture when exercise is completed. Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh45-48.JPG
3. Meditation Posture: Toe Out in Horse. From Attention posture with heels together (Fig. 48), swing toes out to 90 degrees relationship (Fig. 49). Continue alternate pivots on balls of feet and heels (Fig. 50) until you arrive at a high Horse, gradually raising arms up from sides (Fig. 51), until hands meet with arms extended; inhalation is completed at joining hands, with knees slightly bent (Fig. 52). Begin exhalation as palms travel down centerline to chest level and you sink into Horse (Fig. 53). Exhalation completes as you swing both palms out to sides at shoulder level (Fig. 54). Breathe with abdominal concentration while maintaining this meditation stance. Assume Natural stance when completed (Fig. 55).† Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh49-52.JPG††††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh53-55.JPG
IV. 1. Push Two Palms (5): From a Natural stance, step out to side into Horse (Fig. 56) and lift hands to chest while inhaling (Fig. 57; Fig. 58 shows a side view). Turn torso to push to side while exhaling (Figs. 59). Withdraw palms and turn to opposite side as you inhale, then push to that side with exhalation, to complete the first cycle of reps. Photos for the above postures are here:†††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh56-59.JPG††
2. Lifting a Boulder (5): Assume Horse posture. Open hands and cross them as you rise up slightly and inhale (Figs. 62, 63). Exhale and sink as arms circle out and down (Figs. 64, 65). Inhale when you lift them once more (Figs. 66, 67). Push out as you exhale and sink (Figs. 68, 69). Photos for the above postures are here:†††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh62-65.jpg†††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh66-69.jpg
3. Meditation posture: Sink with Feet Together. From Attention posture with heels together, bring palms to hips and bend knees (Fig. 70; Fig. 71 is side view). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/lh70-73.jpg
V. 1. Lift Two Fists: From Horse stance, shift weight to left Bow stance, as both (lightly) clenched fists move from downward position upward to about shoulder level as you inhale on the way up (Figs. 72, 73); notice how your weight shifts backwards for Fig. 73. Weight shifts forward again as you exhale to push downward to repeat Fig. 72. Extend the exhalation as you swing to other side into right Bow stance (Fig. 74). Inhale as you shift weight back and draw both fists up to shoulders (Fig. 75). Exhale to shift weight forward as hands resume posture of Fig. 74. Repeat five times on both sides. There is no muscle tension in these movements. Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/lh70-73.jpg http://eorem.tripod.com/lh74-77.jpg
2. Brush Knee: Turn 90 degrees as both hands circle up and then down (Fig. 76, with Fig. 77 side view; Fig. 78, with Fig. 79 as side view). Step back with right foot into Bow stance as left hand continues down until it reaches left knee where it stops with palm down; meanwhile, right hand pushes out from shoulder; this posture is called Brush Left Knee (Fig. 80; Fig. 81 is side view). Bring right foot to left foot to begin cycle again. After youíve completed five reps on that side, turn 90 degrees to begin Brush Right Knee (Fig. 82). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/lh74-77.jpg http://eorem.tripod.com/lh78-79.jpg
††††† 3. Meditation posture: Hold the Goat. From Natural stance with feet separated, pivot toes in, so that knees are bowlegged and touching; bring both palms together above your head on the inhale (Fig. 83). Exhale as you sink to lower palms in front of your face (Fig. 84; Fig. 85 is side view). Photos for the above postures are here:†††††††††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh84-87.JPG
VI. 1. Brush Two Thighs (5): Step out into Horse posture. Inhale as you open hands and circle arms up to chest with palms open and down (Figs. 86, 87). Exhale as both arms circle down to brush tops of thighs (Fig. 88; Fig. 89 is side view). Inhale again as both arms continue to circle out (Fig. 90) on their way back up to chest level, with palms down, to begin the cycle again (see Fig. 91). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/lh84-87.JPG†††††† http://eorem.tripod.com/lh88-91.JPG
2. Bend with Fist to Toe (5): Assume Natural stance. Breathe in as you turn 90 degrees to left with right arm and fist arched overhead; left fist is held at waist, while left foot is in front and on its heel, with toes back and knee straightened (Fig. 92). Keeping right arm up, exhale as you bend forward to extend left fist down to toes (Fig. 93). Inhale as you return to previous position (Fig. 92) to end the repetition. After five reps, inhale as you pivot to the right to perform that side (Figs. 94, 95) for a count of five more. Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/lh92-95.JPG
3. Meditation posture: Supporting Heaven. From Horse, twist 180 degrees to left, raising both palms up as you turn. Arms are somewhat stretched, and about shoulder level (Fig. 97; Fig. 98 is another view). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/lh96-98.JPG
Integrating Action, Education, and Conscious Evolution
Bodhidharma devised the "higher" education of his "three jewels" as methods of conquering desires and authority outside ourselves--impulses which tend to cause us suffering and keep us stupid. Through constant self-vigilance and earnest concentration he sought to create an extraordinary super-force of mental focus, the human tool used to cultivate enlightenment and evolution.
Of course Bodhidharma didnít invent the tool. His contribution was to assimilate older Mahayana and Right Path Tantra meditation techniques and the equally ancient breathing techniques of the Taoists with his own work ethicócreating a very unique, far-reaching system of self-education. He later summarized this educational approach:
"The spirit should be tranquil and alert, but the body should also be strong and active. Without tranquility one cannot have good circulation and breath. Hence the body should be properly exercised so that the muscles and bones may be supple and the spirit not have to likewise suffer from the misery of weakness."
And in his statement to his first student, he maintained that truth "Öcan be understood only after long, hard discipline and by enduring what is most difficult to endure, and by practicing what is most difficult to practice. Men without wisdom and of inferior virtue will never comprehend it."
Whatever the man may have said, you will (and should) find for yourself that the exercises are rooted in honing the powers of concentration and on correct methods of respiration. Indeed, the significance of controlling the vital energies of Heaven and Earth as they course through the practitionerís body is the enduring contribution of Bodhidharma in the field of integral studies.
As mentioned in earlier sections of this manual, the physical control of breathing apparatus is important, i.e. using diaphragmatic or hypo-gastric methods rather than those powered by thoracic and inter-coastal musculature. If a student concentrates on the correct physical methods in themselves, the results would be significant: 1) Improvement in stamina, coordination, balance, speed; 2) Better health through augmentation and distribution of chi; 3) Improved digestion and elimination; 4) More efficient gland and organ functions through the massaging effect of abdominal style breath control.
However, there are farther-reaching, deeper influences upon both body and consciousness when correct physical technique is used with mindful meditation methods of visualizing energy flow. The following sections illuminate this conjunction. There is no amount of intellectualizing or rational dissection of doctrine that can bring such astounding results.
When the chi is circulated a certain way, we get certain results. Whether the results are physical or border on the mystical, all can be seen as a simple result of circulation of chi. Filling both mind and body with light: This is the path of comprehending the body.
Swept Path, Polished Jewels
Important results of martial arts study inherently include the discipline and strength that abide during times of lifeís adversities. So just what do these teachings of Bodhidharma hold for the already well-trained martial artist?
For the last 1,500 years, generations of men and women have become enlightened through the transformative power of these teachings. The training will ultimately challenge negative patterns of action, thought, emotions. It will point the way for understanding how the mind shapes experience and for transforming emotions to awaken the wisdom that lies in your own heart. It will speak to you if you are concerned about the direction society is taking and are interested in exploring alternatives, especially the value of righteous (read: not-for-profit) work as a training ground for spiritual development.
This training will encourage you to construct a healthy, satisfying lifestyle framed in a context of continuing spiritual evolution, meditation, service. The remembering and study of true "higher education" will keep you from being tricked by the agenda of our modern mercantile society. The daily meditation will help you to integrate what youíre learning into daily life. And service will tether your ego while improving your physical and social environment.
The program of training is designed to clear the way for change by teaching you to recognize patterns of suffering, and to question the structures you impose on the experience of phenomena. It will make room for fresh possibilities, and help you to discover ways of knowing that penetrate to the heart of our human condition.
You will be introduced to the ancient disciplines of self-cultivation, providing access to the wisdom that resides within you. This will encourage you to move beyond current limitations, cut through destructive patterns of conditioning, free your mind and senses to enjoy the human experience more deeply.
One of the characteristics of a master is that he recognizes not only the ultimate needs of the student, but how to counter present blocks to growth and understanding. Bodhidharma recognized the need to help the monks at Shaolin to counter the stress of approaching self-knowledge through intellectual means, i.e. reliance on the study of scriptures and seated meditations. He introduced specific therapeutic practices to neutralize those stresses arising from intellectualism and stasis.
Each facet of the triple jewel reflects different approaches to full illumination:
o While the Shi Pa Lo Han Shou seeks to get the physical vehicle strong and flexible, it also presents its exercises as "mind-forms" or physical mudra which have imprints on consciousness development.
o The Yi Chin Ching likewise has integrated psycho-physical functions. Loss of muscle tissue and bone density through lack of contractions inherent in resistance work characterizes all those with sedentary lifestyles. The dynamic tension inherent within isotonic contractions of Yi Chin Ching builds muscle matter and increases bone strength. Significantly, the physical emphasis on deep, internal strengthening is reflected on the subtle plane in the deep cultivation of will necessary to execute this challenging program successfully. This training teaches one to be the "Destroyer of the Enemy." The Sanskrit term for this accomplished state is arhat; that is, "One who has conquered the passions which hinder enlightenment and perfection." Bodhidharma was carrier of the title "Arhat." Step up, finish the program, and assume your place in this ancient lineage.
o The focus of the third jewel, Shii Shoei Ching/Washing Marrow and Brain with Essence, will be discussed in depth in an additional volume, but we may clarify its position now: it concentrates the collected energies of the previous six years of the first two programs, and uses the bodyís most vital and potent essences for enlightenment and illumination.
Kinetic Medicine as Higher Education
How can we be sure that Bodhidharmaís techniques are correct? Judge by the results! The most convincing test of a system is that it works as intended. Long-term results that strengthen you and enhance your environment canít be bad.
How do these results come? Remember that weíre dealing with the holism of integral systems here: In traditional Chinese medicine an individual exists within a web of relationships. Chinese philosophies/world-views/yogic-martial arts all reflect this seminal view: What you do affects not only your mind, emotions, and body, but also infuses your electro-magnetic field with a charge that influences both micro and macro physio-social environments.
Traditions of self-development in India, Tibet, China realize that sets of special movement sequences are kinetic keys to open doors of consciousness. Kathakali, Bharatayam, and other† Indian nata Temple Dancesóas well as Tibetan chom dances, vajramukti sequences of traditional fist arts, and the Shaolin Chíuan fist arts of Henan and Fukienóall recognize that when mind and body are correctly marshaled with mindful intent, they:
o Act as a cathartic force upon the deepest parts of our nature;
o Provide a self "unmasking" effect, forcing the ego to face its own limitations;
o Require the student to face deep fears, stresses, and phobias that arise during the training.
Some of the understandings that the student of transcendental truth may arrive at include:
1. All mental and physical phenomena are temporary shape-shifters.
2. All statements are puffs of mouth-wind.
3. All values are arbitrary.
4. All positions are held in relation to other arbitrary, temporary, shape-shifting postures.
5. Nothing is so permanent as never to change.
6. Knowledge/Information is subordinate to wisdom or truth.
7. Wisdom does not come from outside our own minds, hearts, bodies.
8. The only non-opportunistic education is that which comes from the pursuit and attainment of truth/wisdom.
The hsing of Bodhidharmaís Triple Jewels are nothing more than remedies containing evolutionary catalysts in the form of particular energy patterns. The inescapable conclusion of correct training in these "elemental patterns" of consciousness is the stimulation of free will that brings inspiration, personal growth, inner transformation. This is true "higher education" directly from the source of growth, your integrated self.
All phenomena around you are "alive" in the sense that it is in a constant state of vibrational harmonicsóor energy fields of electro-magnetic properties, if you prefer. The hsing patterns of molecular activity generate unique frequencies amplifying vibrational resonances of other life-forms. These subtle patterns ultimately transform frequencies into the dense organic matter of your body: "You are what you do and think."
The healing capabilities of these kinetic, remedial resonances are directly based upon transference of their unique energy frequencies into the physical body via molecular transformation ("changing elixir into gold" goes part of an ancient formula for inner alchemy). This provides a stability of the bio-molecular system which, in turn, offers a more sympathetic base for deeper transformation: "The more you do, the greater you become."
The healing properties of this system of medical synergy then interacts with various organs and other anatomical systems. The third "jewel" is not referred to as "Washing" for nothingÖ
These electro-magnetic, kinetically-based remedies also offer an expanded form of resonance: Thought amplification. During execution of the meditation-in-action forms, a studentís thought forces are absorbed by the hsing and then re-arranged and actualized according to a specific vibrational frequency pattern existing within the hsing.
Recognizing that the physical body is completely designed and patterned by both conscious and subconscious intent, the ancient systems of hsing studies promote better assimilation of subtle fields at the biomolecular level by facilitating vibrational integration at base levels of existence.
Bodhidharmaís hsing study programs are formulas that seek to adjust the flow of oneís consciousness. Just as importantly, they actually address and remove targeted karmic patterns that create a physical/mental/emotional blockage or illness.
The remediating hsing influence the subtle body (e.g. chakras, nadis, meridians) in self-adjusting modes. This means that the body selectively applies the medical kinetics to appropriate areas of the subtle anatomy that requires specialized healing.
This system of kinetic medicine has internal limits, however: The elemental studies are capable only of a temporary stabilization of the physical and subtle bodiesóuntil a total cleansing or appraisal of consciousness occurs. Certain dysfunctional behavioral patterns release various mental/emotional toxins, e.g. negative emotional attachments and mental illusions. A part of these toxins may be drawn back into the subtle/physical body by any conscious or unconscious resistance to releasing the dysfunctional personality attitudes or traits.
The healing properties of these kinetic remedies are amplified by the practice of meditation, breath control, and visualization techniquesóall included with Bodhidharmaís therapies. These adjunct techniques allow the effects of kinetic medicine to be more easily assimilated into all vibrational paradigms of the body by entering nexus energy points and following appropriate meridian routes.
The overall effect of such a coordinated training enables the student to directly confront and resolve underlying causes of evolutionary blocks, as well as sources of negative behavior problems and psycho-physical illnesses. This is no small matter.
A Moment of Truth for Western Education
Western ideas of "education" are oriented toward economic goals, acquisition and development of marketable skills, and performance-based judgments fostering competition between aggressive personalities. And just look at the results of Western "education" in its alliance with commerce: a debilitated social fabric, a wounded natural environment, and the declining psycho-physical health of humans.
In the struggle for local, national and global dominance, the managers of the existing division of labor in society must organize public consciousness in order to present the world in a way that makes violence and greed-based status-quo seem normal and necessary. One of the chief architects of this manipulation of world-view is our Western system of so-called "education."
The medium of ingestion of status-quo views is the message. The message is internalized while being required to sit when told, to speak as expected, and to produce assigned tasks on demand. The lack of equal, reciprocal action between this "education" and the student reduces feedback to the lowest point compatible with the dominant world-view. Formal "education" of this sort does not serve interpersonal communication/exploration/creativity, but prevents these from being fully realized. This has led to a collective world-view that protects the ruling class and sells their products to us. Yes, even our children are being farmed with commercial ads while in "school."
The corporate control of public "education" process, content, and teaching methods means that the unilateral parameters of economic logic and commercial profit are firmly in command of much of the world. This means that the spirit of greed is raping our brains, your childrenís minds, and the evolutionary potential of humans.
Weíre being farmed like cattle. Whaddaya figureóthe cowboys are gonna sit down with the steers to negotiate opening the corral gate? Bust out, manóitíll feel really good and empower you to step up to your rightful place in human history: Protector of the Righteous!
Principles of True Higher Education
Once youíve been around long enough in the teaching field, you come to know that there is no ďfield.Ē The centers of "professional" teacher preparation rely on certain artifices in order to maintain their positions of dominance: specification and separation of learners, teachers, information; and implementation of a practicum:theory co-relation. These are fabrications built almost exclusively on cerebral cortex domination of modern human function. This is not where wisdom and true higher education hail from; rather, it is where the result of verbal language becomes evident. Language not only is an ass, itís an ass incapable of wisdom, a pale reflection of the dynamism of reality, an impotent tool locked into the narcissistic box of tautological rationalism and logic.
(It is a sad fact that too often rationality and logic serve those who need solid emotional support because they are afraid of the flux of existence and the unrestrained actions of those using other parts of their minds. Unfortunately those rationally fearful souls also place themselves in positions of power in order to mandate others to do their bidding.) These twin hammers of fear and loathing--intellectualism and authority (both being logical expressions of insecurity and fear)--were exactly the Twiddly-dee and -dumb that Bodlhidharma encountered. When interviewed by Chinese Emperor Liang Wu Ti, Tamo's non-rational, esoteric responses to Liang's intellectual queries were bewildering, and the monk was sent packing). And again, when the not-so-venerable Fang Chang, Head Abbot of Shaolin, refused Bodhidharma entry because of the monk's insistence on "Öunderstanding outside the scriptures;
No dependence upon words and letters;
Only direct pointing at the soul of man, and
Seeing into one's natureÖ"
So of course the man was shunned from the community of the status quo. Clearly this radical who advocated freedom and self-reliance wasn't to be encouraged. Just as clearly, Man's true inner adversaries and obstacles to evolution have not changed.
Admit it: Weíve all been duped by early proponents of production theory into following scientific method: parsing and micro-examination of diversity, extrapolation of living matter from native environment, insistence upon unnaturally-occurring and repeatable trials during inquiry. These are roles for undertakers studying dead material in a non-viable milieu. Only change and creativity foster life and growth.
Of course, itís more convenient for both "teachers" and students lacking imagination, creativity and self-motivation to follow proscribed content-based methods in order to organize events/ideas in a linear fashion in order to enhance predictability and lessen the threat of uncontrolled spontaneity. Itís also not real, reflects only the priorities of an artificial learning environment, and deadens the spirit.
Our inherited knowledge in education has not been successful in presenting the understanding that comes from a unified field of human experience, one that is based in non-verbal, whole-body pro-activity in an environment not limited to indoors, with a dominance of symbols and substitutions for what occurs uncontrolled in the raw outside the walls.
Guidelines for Integrated, Whole-Human Higher Education
1. Learning should be an experience of mind working in concert with body. It may be simplistic to say that no natural and unimpeded human process divorces conceptualization from associated activity. How is it, then, that the architects of the human artifice known as "formal education" choose not to reflect natural process? What is their agenda? What kind of human are they trying to develop? And who benefits?
2. Attention is a key component of any engagement, be it physical, mental, emotional. The core of all energy movement (and that includes the neuron-dendrite firings of the brain cells) is consciously-applied focus of will.
3. Both attention and focus store power for conscious use at a later time. Conscious intent with regard to the movement of all modes of energy can be learned.
4. The technical aspects of making energy available, and understanding how to apply the generated energy are both proper domains of human education.
5. The self-generation of personal energy (whatever mode) can be self-taught.
6. Once the principles of generation and application are learned, they can be applied successfully to any endeavor.
7. Keep the ego in check, playing a secondary role. The more "I," the less natural function. Cerebrally-oriented education requires a co-dependency of the ego, causing a variety of negative emotional responses in both "successful" and "lesser able" students. The huge majority of captives held by the modern education system experience anxiety, fright, worry, and grief. These responses, when carried long-term, impair proper organ(ism) functions, resulting in gastric ulcers, high blood pressure, coronary disease, cancer, etc. The top 10% performers donít escape the effects of the stress of competition, either. Typically they exhibit chronic aggressiveness, displaced anger, alienation from most of humanity through elitist premiums fostered by rational hierarchies. This, too, is a recipe for destruction of the organism.
8. If the source of the "informing education" is outside your mind-body awareness, it is not your source of wisdom and truth. Have faith in your own truth, your own experience of being. If anotherís experience ("education") is forced upon you, question the source of authority for that coercion. If you have not agreed to be governed or "taught," then you are being subjugated against your will.
9. Train the mind to harness internal energy and thereby regulate essential bio-chemical transformations and vital organ functions.
10. Distinguish clearly between intellectual understanding/rational knowledge and intuitive insight/primordial awareness.
11. Above all, make allowance for the appreciation of being conscious without motive or thoughts of profit, and the spontaneous arising of creativity outside of mind-set and agenda.
Training Program for Yi Jin Ching
This is a three-year effort, to be performed daily. Early morning is ideal, on an empty stomach (an herbal beverage beforehand is fine). At any rate, refrain from this exercise until youíve not eaten for at least three or four hours. A quiet outdoors environment, free from noisy distractions, with clean air, would be ideal. Wear loose clothing and maintain a comfortable, relaxed mental frame.
The 22 core exercises, with their final five assignments to restore calm, will take you a little more than hour to complete. Do not rush, do not even be in a little bit of a hurry. Each of these following exercises requires coordinated abdominal breath and body tension. The hypo-gastric methods are the same as in Shi Pa Lo Han Shou. Here, however, we introduce the notion of isotonic contractions during exhalation in these areas: arms, legs, thoracic and abdominal cavities, and the pubo-coccygeal area (including fasciae and attendant muscles of lower abdomen, sphincter, pelvis). Maintain a relaxed countenance, and keep muscles in the neck flaccid.
We begin with a single execution of each exercise; perform an out-breath of 15 seconds just once, then move on to the next exerciseóbut only after you have fully recovered with a normal breathing pattern. Follow this routine for a couple of weeks, i.e. until it gets too easy, then perform 2 x 15 seconds for each exercise for another couple of weeks. Next do 3 x 15 seconds for each exercise, until the next challenge is needed a few weeks later. Donít worry abou5t exact scheduling; your body and mind will tell you when to bump up the training.
Next increment is to practice the exhaling with isotonics for 1 x 30 seconds for each exercise. Then 2 x 30 seconds. Then go for 3 x 30 seconds. These are all to be done for a few weeks each.
The next phase is to build up to 2 x one minute contractions for each exercise. You will know exactly what to do, and how long to do it, when you are in these final stages.
The following are to be done from the first phase to the last, after completing each session of the 22 exercises, as methods of re-entry into normal consciousness: Lift and drop your arms; raise and drop legs; sit quietly. These are fully described after the 22 verbal descriptions of the exercises, and there are photos of them following those of the core exercises. Do not neglect their importance.
The list below enumerates each exercise, and for easy reference each has a short bold name according to the tensed portion of the exercise. Then the full exercise is explained and corresponding photo numbers are given as we go along.
1. Palms Down: From your Natural stance (Fig. 99), step out into a high Horse (Fig. 100). Take a deep diaphragmatic breath, and on the exhale raise your palms until they are facing the ground (Fig. 101). After finishing the exhalation stage, step back into a restful Natural stance (Fig. 102); when recovered sufficiently, repeat the exhalation or go on to the exercise below. Photos for the above postures are here:††††††††† http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc1-4.JPG
2. Thumbs In: From the Natural stance (Fig. 103), step out into a high Horse (Fig. 104), then inhale and raise both thumbs toward hips as you do (Fig. 105). On the exhalation, tense and straighten arms (Fig. 107). After exhaling, step back into your Natural stance (Fig. 108). The raised thumb is shown in Fig. 106. Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc5-8.JPG††††† http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc9-12.JPG
3. Tuck Thumbs: From the previous Natural stance (Fig. 108), step out into a high Horse (Fig. 109) to inhale. On the exhalation tuck thumbs and sink slightly (Fig. 110). Then relax back into the Natural posture (Fig. 112). The tucked thumb is shown in Fig. 111. 4. Standing Fists: From your Natural stance (Fig. 112), step out into high Horse (Fig. 113), and inhale, Raising your arms parallel to equate other, exhale all the way up until they arrive at shoulder level (Fig. 114). Relax in high Horse (Fig. 115). Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc9-12.JPG http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc13-16.JPG
4. Arms Above Head: From your Horse (Fig. 115), step out into high Horse to inhale while raising arms above head (Fig. 116), then exhale while pushing up (Fig. 117). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 118). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc17-20-a.JPG
5. Fists towards Ears: From high Horse (Fig. 119), step out into a slightly wider stance, cocking your elbows to raise fists towards ears on inhalation (Fig. 120). During exhalation, bring arms back as far as possible (Fig. 121). Relax in Natural posture (Fig. 122). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc21-24.JPG
6. Spread Arms from Shoulders: From high Horse (Fig. 123), step slightly wider and lift fists straight out to shoulder level during inhalation (Fig. 124). Exhale while you simultaneously push arms to rear and raise toes (Fig. 125). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 126). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc25-28.JPG http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc29-32.JPG
7. Push Fists Forward: From natural Stance (Fig. 127), step out into high Horse (Fig. 128). Widen stance slightly as you inhale and raise fists to shoulder height in front of your face; then exhale to push fists forward (Fig. 129). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 130). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc29-32.JPG
8. Fists toward Nose: From Natural stance, step out into high Horse (Fig. 131). On your inhale, raise your arms to shoulder level as you cock elbows; fists face outwards about two inches from your nose (Fig. 132). Exhale with tension as you draw elbows to rear (Fig. 133). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 134). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc33-36.JPG
9. Elbows Bent, Fists Up: From natural stance, step out into high Horse (Fig. 135). On your inhale, bring both arms to shoulder height with elbows bent, forearms vertical and fists upward (Fig. 136). When exhaling push bent arms to rear (Fig. 137). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 138). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc37-40.JPG
10. Cock Thumbs at Waist: From Natural stance (Fig. 139), step into high Horse (Fig. 140). On your inhalation bring bent arms inward, in fists with thumbs protruding, to about waist level; exhale in same posture (Fig. 141). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 142). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc41-44.JPG
11. Palms Out and Up: From Natural stance, step out into high Horse (Fig. 143). Inhale as both arms rise to shoulder level with palms open and facing upwards; elbows are slightly bent (Fig. 144). Exhale, tense, raise arms up slightly, and raise heels off ground (Fig. 145). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 146). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc45-48.JPG
12. Palms Face Forward: From Natural posture, step out into high Horse (Fig. 147). Step out again for inhalation, raising both hands inward and up to chest (Fig. 148). On exhalation, turn palms out with thumbs down to push forward, twisting palms upwards as you tense (Fig. 149). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 150). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc49-53.JPG
13. Palms Up and to Sides: From Natural stance (Fig. 151), step out into high Horse (Fig. 152). During inhalation raise both arms to sides with elbows slightly bent and palms upwards, to shoulder level;tense and exhale while arms stretch back with palms twisted back (Fig. 153). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 154). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc54-57.JPG
14. Palms Down and to Front: From Natural stance, step out into high Horse (Fig. 155). Inhale to raise both arms to front to shoulder level, elbows slightly bent, palms facing down (Fig. 156). Exhale and push arms forward with fingers extended (Fig. 157). Relax in Natural position (Fig. 158). Photos for the above postures are here:†††††††††††††† ††††http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc58-61.JPG
15. Chamber Two Fists: From natural stance, step out into High Horse (Fig. 159). Inhale to raise both fists to chest level at sides (Fig. 160). When exhaling and tensing, pull elbows slightly rearward (Fig. 161). Relax in Natural posture (Fig. 162). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc62-65.JPG
16. Two Palms Forward: From Natural stance, step out into high Horse (Fig. 163). Inhaling as you go, raise arms until they are parallel to ground, with both palms facing forward (Fig. 164). Exhale and tense to push palms forward as you pull the fingers back (Fig. 165). Relax in natural posture (Fig. 166). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc66-69.JPG
17. Chi Lift: From natural stance, step into high Horse (Fig. 167). Breathe in as both palms are raised to chest(Fig. 168). Breathe out, tense and rotate wrists as palms twist up (Fig. 169). Relax in Natural stance (Fig. 170). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc70-73.JPG
18. Cross Wrists: From Natural posture, step into High Horse (Fig. 171). Inhale to bring arms across chest with wrists crossed and palms facing inward (Fig. 172). Exhale to press to sides with palms as fingers arch back (Fig. 173). Relax in natural stance (Fig. 174). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc74-77.JPG
19. Palms Face Down: From Natural stance, step out into high Horse (Fig. 175). Step out a little wider and inhale to bring palms to about ground level (Fig. 176). Exhale and push arms to rear as you press down and back with palms (Fig. 177). Relax in Natural Stance (Fig. 178). Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc78-81.JPG
20. Fold Arms Inward: From Natural posture, step into high Horse (Fig. 179). Inhale and fold arms across chest, with left palm at right shoulder and right hand under left elbow (Fig. 180). Tense and push palms to sides (Fig. 181). Relax in Natural posture (Fig. 182). Photos for the above postures are here: http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc82-85.JPG
21. Push Palms Back: From Natural stance, step into high Horse (Fig. 183). Inhale, dropping arms to rear with palms facing back and down (Fig. 184). Exhale and push arms back farther (Fig. 185). Relax in Natural posture (Fig. 186). Photos for the above postures are here:†† http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc86-89.JPG
22. Completion and Relaxation: Breathe in and raise arms to shoulder level (Fig. 187). Breathe out to lower arms (Fig. 188). Perform this cycle as much as desired. Photos for the above postures are here:† http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc90-93.JPG
23. Lift and Loosen: Raise each leg slowly on inhale, bending knee (Figs. 189, 190). Drop the leg and relax on exhale. Perform reps as needed. Photos for the above postures are here:†† http://eorem.tripod.com/ycc90-93.JPG
24. Sit quietly. Photo for the above posture is here:†††† http://eorem.tripod.com/carrywater-1.JPG
Competition for the markets of self-validation and inner security has been fierce since the early 1950ís. The personal growth systems have been oriented towards the arenas of inner combat and outward one-upmanship. How is it that we manage to transmogrify even the spiritual journey of life to dollar values?
Truly integrated workówhether health, spiritual, or martialóisnít served by fighting your own nature or by competing with others. Much deeper growth occurs when we focus on 1) marshaling mind and body to literally extract the essence from this human life; and 2) taking conscious charge of our own evolution. I am not speaking symbolically here. Gratefully, we need only to come to our own full awareness for this to happen.
What we need to know for physical and personal survival is in front of our noses in most given moments. Itís unfortunate that many hyperactive humans have developed such as extraordinary range of insatiable appetites for intellectual masturbation and the entertainment of an over-stimulated cerebral cortex. This unbridled titillation has given rise to such environmentally adverse social movements as the Age of Reason, Academia, the Industrial Revolution, and the Information Ageóall under the mentorship of "Learning for the love of learning" and "Knowledge is power." This is what happens when intellectual powers are venerated and combined with our lower drives of greed and ambition.
I suggest that learning and teaching and any field of "education" be held up for examination of consequences. It is not enough to assert that studies be "fun" and "interesting," that community resources be tapped, or even that cultural precedent exists. Before absorbing or passing on a body of knowledge, we need to ask ourselves, "Will the long-term result be friendly to the organism/Organism?" Learning to control the mischievous monkey mind is of imminent importance for survival as an individual, as a species, as Gaiea. If we do not, we face further consequences of being at the mercy of the Monkeyís pernicious vagaries of egomania and exploitation-as-a-way-of-life.
Grades and ranks, diplomas and careers, position and prestige represent by-products (at best non-essential, at worst obsessive and obstructive to real growth) encountered on the long journey of self-transformation. The success of true health comes in the effort of meeting the challenge to develop critical thinking skills, a vital internal energy, and compassion for all life forms. Such an orientation can alter perceptions of what it means to be alive.
It is possible to arrive at a synthesis of mind and body, intellect and intuition, knowledge and wisdom. But thereís only one magic map, and itís yours. The warriorís path is to embrace both the excitement and the perils of being constantly in process, walking the swordís edge on your own. And donít take (bull)shit from nobody along the way.
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Edward Oremís mind-body studies began in 1964 and have included such diverse disciplines as Burmese kick-boxing, Taoist yoga, Shaolin Temple Boxing, Hatha yoga, Tíai-chi Chíuan , Tantra yoga, Hsing-I Chíuan, Kundalini Yoga, Pa Kua Chang, Kempo Karate. His qualifications include PhD in Holistic Health Studies, 9th Degree Black Belt (Shaolin Ch'uan Fa Kempo), 6th Toan Black Sash (Chinese Boxing), 5th Black in Chinese Kick-boxing, Massage Therapist.
He has studied at American University, Georgetown University, California State University (Arcata), Nyingma Institute of Tibetan Studies, Chi-Kung Institute, Institute of Health Sciences, and with 10 martial arts masters. Mr. Orem has taught in Wash., DC, Senegal, Guatemala, British Columbia, and San Francisco, as well as through service organizations in a small mountain community. He has written, produced and performed in 37 training videos in the fields of natural health and fitness, martial arts, and has written several training manuals, as well as feature articles for the on-line martial arts magazine Dragon's List (dragonslist.com).
He was a regular consultant in stress reduction and instructor in exercise therapies with the Pitt River Indian Health Service, and has been Guest Lecturer at a community hospital, as well as Instructor at Central Oregon Community College. Mr. Orem offers private consultation in longevity arts, and teaches Tíai-chi Chíuan, Shaolin Temple Boxing, and Chi Kung through Costa Rica College, Costa Rica. Workshops in various disciplines have been given in California, Oregon, and Florida. Currently offered are week-long training ventures in Costa Rica and Belize. Contact Dr. Orem: firstname.lastname@example.org See websites at: http://geocities.com/costaricacollege/ and http://kempochuanfa.com