Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Guns, Swords, Meditation and Breathing

Mushin University™ Self-Knowledge the Ultimate Knowledge

Weapons like guns and swords intensify your martial art practice. Meditation helps give control to these elements, and it can be done both while moving or motionless. It doesn't matter if you are standing, sitting, or lying down each position can be used for meditation. Breathing is the key to good meditation no matter the position, I like using 100 deep breaths a day as a bench mark. In the past students have asked me what’s so important about doing one hundred deep breaths a day. Generally, as a follow-up question they also inquire about what does breathing have to do with meditation?

The answer to these two questions are very important to martial artists seeking to expand their training beyond mere self-defense. Tyson was up from Texas recently, and I included a few things here I wanted to emphasis on this subject. We tried to cover as much material as possible, but the three days flew past. I found that I never touched on half of the things I wanted too, but here are a few things that I might have glossed over. 

The act of purposeful breathing is beneficial to vitality and health as well as consciousness and emotional control training. I am reminded of the quote by Lao Tzu that in my mind fits perfectly here, “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.” So what does this have to do with the first two questions postulated by my students? The answer is very simple and can be answered on multiple levels, first of all it is a simple task to perform. Well theoretically it is, but most people dismiss its importance out of hand and never get it achieved because of its simplicity. I would compare it to the drill instructor insisting on the new recruits satisfactorily making their rack, bunk, bed every morning. It is a small feat, but no matter how the rest of your day goes at least you will have achieved one goal. 

Next on the list, is that the deep breathing can be done all at once, or broken down to two, three, or four sets. Listen to your body and use what you like either twenty-five, thirty-three, or fifty repetitions followed by a cleansing breath. Of course, many of us feel that in our busy lifestyles we can't take the time. Still, this is when we should take the time, and I like to use it in three sets prior to consuming breakfast, lunch, and dinner, whenever I feel pressed for time. I do thirty inhalations followed by the thirty-first exhalation breath hold, then the thirty-second breath hold is on an inhalation and the thirty-third breath is generally just a cleansing breath, or two if I'm feeling generous. Now as for what it has to do with meditation, breathing focuses our mind on one point. Achieving one point is the first step to achieving mushin, (no mind no thought). Of course, the period that you can sustain mushin is best developed through practice. Together these elements enhance your empty-hand martial art training and your weapon training. This has very easily seen results in shooting skills and even tameshigiri.

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