Energy Cultivation (Qigong, Meditation)
Energy cultivation is integral to most internal arts training. Regardless of style or method, practicing internal arts according to correct principles will produce energy growth and development.
The Tai Chi, Xing-I, and Bagua programs include Qigong (working the life force) training as part of their warm ups. Over time, the practitioner no longer makes any effort to remember choreography, and the form will flow with little or no conscious effort. At this point, when the forms begin to “do themselves,” the practitioner will move to a new level of relaxation. The student’s internal dialogue quiets, allowing them to attract and begin to store Qi at a much higher level.
At this stage, the body develops greater and greater density of Chi (Qi) in their skin, muscles, and bones. Adding new training methods at this point can assist in taking this increased Chi and refining it to finer and yet more expansive states. This assists in expanding consciousness and awareness. All of this is Energy Cultivation. Correct training methods, correct mental focus, and perseverance allows one to grow and refine their internal Chi for greater health, power, and well-being.
These methods are part of the Wu Shen Tao curriculum. Should you wish to focus solely on energetics without the martial arts aspect, there are options available. This path focuses more on Meditation, Qigong, and other physical / energetic techniques for increasing the quantity and quality of one’s Qi.
Outside of group class, concentrated training may be undertaken on a private basis only. All development in any physical, mental or energetic field requires time and effort and should be undertaken only by those seriously interested in the goals of highly energizing the body and mind and cultivating the spirit. In addition, reaching these goals requires a review of diet, routines, and mindset. It calls for persistence, fortitude, and will.
Those interested in these types of training should contact Paul Ramos at 301-651-3617, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d like to introduce you to my long time friend and time training partner in the energy arts - Henry C. Brennan.
We began our energetic trainings during the early 1970’s. His continued study and application of the trainings has made him both capable, and knowlegable. He is now willing to share some of these trainings.
New Meditation Section
Some of you may already be somewhat familiar with me, through innuendo or past encounters. In any case, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Henry Charles Brennan (any additional titles are irrelevant) and I’ll be posting on this site in the days, weeks and months to come.
I’ve known Paul Ramos for over 45 years. Our interest in martial arts and their related philosophies extend back to those times when we were both in high school together. Obviously, his focus led to an expertise in the arts that he currently teaches. My own focus, while just as dedicated and life changing, led me to another aspect of human development and evolution. Namely - some very useful teachings involving meditation and its related potential benefits.
Because of this, after many years of study, I’ve begun to present these teachings to those who wish to investigate this particular path of meditation knowledge. Soon, I’ll be accepting students who are interested in what I consider to be a highly useful and beneficial approach to this subject and I invite questions from anyone who would like to know more.
For those who are curious - I will be posting here on a regular basis. This way, there will be an online venue where you can discover more details of what I teach. Welcome...
Something to Meditate On
Welcome to “Something to Meditate On”. For our first installment, allow me to set down some specifics, when it comes to what I teach. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation handed out on the Internet that is designed to merely be profitable. This particular section of the website is the antithesis of that. Each time that I post, my goal is to possibly broaden the horizons of those who may not have considered integrating meditation into their daily lives. For me, meditation is a designated part of the day that I choose to set aside to clear my mind and to recharge my vital energies.
For the first 35 years of my metaphysical/meditative journey, I viewed my meditation as something that I enjoyed doing. I employed a large number of different meditation techniques and I’m truly grateful for the opportunities that I had in order to do so. As I became more and more proficient in my meditation, I reaped the benefits in a number of different ways.
However, we are led to the circumstances that provide us the opportunity to evolve. In my case, I found myself in the most difficult of survival scenarios. Of course, nothing is coincidental and this happened for a reason. I began to see that meditation can be more than just a peaceful part of one’s day – a time for relaxation. I discovered that meditation also has a tangible aspect that I never before realized existed. Just as Tai Chi can be used as a peaceful exercise and also a way of self-defense, the internal aspects of meditation can be used to relax and center oneself, as well deal directly with the tangible situations that we encounter every day.
Today’s Takeaway: Meditation extends far beyond what the majority of people feel that it encompasses.
As the New Year sweeps down upon us, I would like to begin my regular blog postings. Currently, my (new) website is in the design phase and I anticipate that it will be finished in the near future. At this time, however, I would like to establish the mindset that I feel one has to develop insofar as meditation is concerned. This is especially true when it comes to a form of meditation that I teach which is considered valuable throughout the entire day as well as during our “quiet times”, which we usually devote solely to our personal meditation “space”.
This is the primary difference in the form of meditation that I have developed over the last four decades. Allow me to explain.
You see, I am acutely aware of the various types of meditative disciplines that have been developed by humans over the centuries. These tend to involve centering the self after having selected a quiet portion of the day and then utilizing one of the many techniques that are designed to assist us in reaching a desired meditative state. I’ve been practicing this type of meditation long enough to personally understand the benefits that can be derived from this daily regimen.
However, somewhere along the way, I began to notice other aspects of meditation that can become functional even when I wasn’t in my “quiet place”, but rather while engaging in other activities. Of course, this is not unique. For example, when (correctly) performing Tai Chi, a variation of the meditative state is also achieved. The same is true for countless other activities, such as mastering many forms of physical exercises, repetitive jobs and even intricate food preparation.
This forms the basis of my teachings. It entails achieving the link that can exist between ‘quiet’ meditation and ‘spontaneous’ meditation, which can exponentially ramp up one’s performance in everyday activities. It can even be utilized when developing additional skills and talents. This discussion will begin in my next blog.
Today’s Takeaway: There is a link between ‘passive’ and ‘active’ activity meditation that can be effectively explored in order to sharpen one’s current abilities and develop additional ones.
So, let’s begin with our meditation theory and instruction.
The primary key to meditation is the ability to turn off one’s thoughts in order to allow a direct contact to both the subconscious and the spiritual environment. Without this honed ability, there will be far too much interference from both internal and external sources.
Now some may say that this sounds like a simple beginning. How difficult can it be to turn off one’s thoughts on a whim - especially in a quiet environment with no distractions? For those people, I say; “Guess again”. If you have any doubts, try it right now, if you happen to be in quiet surroundings. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
How long were you able to maintain mental silence? If you could accomplish this for more than a few seconds, then you’re ahead of the curve. You see, the internal dialog that we all engage in, is necessary to maintain our “attention” on a particular reality that we have agreed to share with our fellow humans. Those who have difficulty with this are those who we may label as either; geniuses, artists, oddballs and the insane. But many of you already know this.
Now consider turning off your thoughts when there are distractions around you. Needless to say, this can be a far more challenging (but necessary) ability needed to follow the advanced instructions that I will eventually present.
But no worries. Here’s how we can start.
Oh yes, one word of caution. Those who follow what I teach are subject to results that will occur in a relatively short amount of time. Those who are truly not ready to spiritually evolve at this point may find these results disconcerting. We’re not talking about years, here – but weeks.
In any case, here’s what you can do. Start with a quiet time in your day. Have a piece of paper imprinted with a small dot posted on the wall in front of you. Relax every part of your body and, of course, allow your shoulders to “drop”. Focus your vision on the dot. Now allow your internal dialog to gradually turn off. When the dot begins to blur, you are succeeding.
When you have reached a point where you need to re-engage your internal dialog, the dot will come back into focus and you’ll find that you are internally talking to yourself again. I, myself, began this training when I worked in an Army hospital EENT clinic (during my breaks), beginning in 1982, after having previously practiced meditation for years prior to this.
Do this as often as you can and let me know your results through the email below.
For those who may say that this is something that they have seen and practiced before, I want to point out something. This is just the very basic prerequisite for the non-traditional teachings that I wish to assist people with. If you are already able to turn off your thoughts for over a few minutes, then you are ahead of the curve – at this point. In any case, begin this way and we will continue in my next (weekly) blog. Enjoy your existence today...
If you have any questions or need assistance with any of my meditation techniques, please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com
I will do my best to assist you in any way that I can.
Today’s Takeaway: We begin with a simple exercise that is designed to assist us in turning off our internal dialog.
Last week, I discussed turning off one’s thoughts. In addition, I presented a simple exercise that is designed to assist in this endeavor, should one not be familiar with the practice already. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. However, I prefer to start at the very beginning by breaking down concepts into their most simplistic form.
For those who are just beginning to read this blog, I hope you had the time to initially investigate the aforementioned exercise. Besides setting the stage for my eventual meditation discussions, it will, at the very least, help you in creating a ‘quiet time’ in which you can remove yourself from the burdens and potential stresses of the day.
Now, let’s build upon that initial concept with something that many people understand, but may easily forget as far as practical application goes. In my younger days, I was ‘led’ to a very difficult form of meditation that required me to develop my “breathing abilities” in the face of many strenuous situations and exercises. The benefit that I received from this was the knowledge of the importance of breath control despite any distractions. It created a pathway in my mental facilities in very much the same way that a repetitive physical task can eventually create ‘muscle memory’.
For the benefit of my discussions on this website, I will discuss a less demanding way of achieving a very similar goal. While it’s obvious that a classroom venue is far more advantageous than a blog format, this type of practice can still provide a great deal of practical abilities that you can use in relation to other techniques that I will eventually discuss.
For those who are interested in a classroom venue, I will soon by planning an online class in both introductory and advanced meditation training. In the future, it’s quite possible that I will be visiting my longtime friend, Sifu Paul Ramos’ school(s) for face-to-face classroom instruction, as well. This was something that I was able to do over 20 years ago, as well. Since then, my over 10 year residence and training on a tropical island has allowed me to develop considerably more advanced perceptions, revelations and subsequent milestones.
But for now, here is an exercise that can be used in conjunction with the “thought quieting dot exercise” that I talked about in the 1/9/2019 entry. These are the steps:
1. Understand that you will be focused on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
2. Instead of raising your chest with your breath intake, you will be focused on expanding and deflating your lower abdomen with your inhaling and exhaling. Practice this a few times prior to beginning your meditation, if you are unfamiliar with this. If you have difficulty, an experienced meditation practitioner or martial artist can give you a quick example.
3. As you are focusing on the dot and attempting to turn off your thoughts, exhale deeply through your mouth (deflating your abdomen).
4. Now close your mouth and slowly inhale deeply through your nose (inflating your abdomen). Hold your breath for just 4 seconds. Now slowly exhale through your mouth (deflating your abdomen) and hold your breath for just 5 seconds. Repeat.
Now here are two important things to consider. Since we are all built differently and are in different physical shape, you may need to adjust this timing in order to be comfortable. If you begin to feel lightheaded, you will need to make an immediate adjustment so that you can feel comfortable enough to focus on the dot and turn off your thoughts.
Secondly, in order to perfect abdominal breathing, you should initially place your hand over your lower abdomen. This will help you feel when your lower abdomen is moving correctly with your breathing. If any of this is giving you undue difficulty, you may send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I can even arrange to give you a personal call (Skype, phone, etc.) and lend you some assistance.
Has there ever been a time when you participated in a breathing exercise (single or group session)? Let me know and I will be happy to share your experience with this blog, if you so desire. Next week, we will go a bit further in this discussion.
Today’s Takeaway: We are now focusing on breath control that will further assist you in clearing your thoughts.