Tag Archives: martial arts

The Full Human Experience

Have you ever questioned what it is to be human? Do you ever wonder whether there is more to this human experience? When you hear or read about people’s peak experiences do they seem familiar to you or are they totally alien, leaving you wondering what you are missing?

 

The work that Avis and Brown is engaged in is about energy. In particular the energy of the mind, body, soul and spirit. What does that mean and in particular what relevance does it have for the human experience? “Mind, body and spirit” is a phrase that has become common in our parlance and there are countless courses and books about these three aspects of life. The work that both Avis and Brown does  is about the three elements of the human experience: mind, body and soul, how they relate to the fourth element of our work, spirit, and the way in which these four are inter- related through energy.

 

As you can see from the diagram below it depicts that mind, body and soul are connected. Put all three of these circles in relationship with each other and you have the human experience. How full that human experience is depends of the size of the circles and how well balanced they are. You tend to favour one or two of the circles and neglect the others- which one’s they are depends on your upbringing, your training and your desire to develop and cultivate these circles. Speaking for myself I have worked hard throughout my life on the physical and mental circles and less so on the soul aspect of my being. I think Lynette would agree with me if we said she has worked hard on her mental and soul circles and less so on her physical. We work on all three to some degree- the question is how powerful is each circle and how well balanced the three are in relation to each other?

 

The human experience is more than just a physical journey through the world in which we feel the physical sensations of our environment. Neither is it simply a mental exercise to be intellectualized through or an emotional experience simply to be felt. Nor is life simply an ethereal experience in which you ignore the physical world and separate your self from others. All three of these aspects are essential to the human experience and life can feel stale, hollow and meaningless if you are lacking in any one of these. The ideal relates to what Buddha referred to as “The Middle Way”, towards connection and being centred- to your self, others and the world around you.

 

By all means enjoy the physical experience of the world as much as you wish- explore new places, meet new people, have new experiences. Enjoy food, physical exercise, sexual intimacy, stillness and movement. Become as physically strong, flexible and co- ordinated as you want, run marathons, swim oceans, wrap your leg over your head and dance the night away. The physical body is also a wonderful tool of sensation- the feeling of movement, thought, sensuality and emotion in the body is a powerful intuitive voice that could be referred to as Body Wisdom and requires a connection to, and awareness of, the body. To submit to your bodily experience connects you to something much larger, beyond thought and into pure movement and presence.

 

Your mind allows you to perceive the world through the lens of your values and beliefs, built upon the foundation of your traditions, experience and culture. Emotion gives you a richness to life that can be both joyful and painful. There is much learning and growth that can come from these emotional experiences. How and what you learn depends on your mind- set. The depth of feeling and emotion becomes limited if you are not willing to connect within or outward towards others. If you feel isolated you do not feel part of the great community of humanity that is there for us all to take part in as actively and as consciously as we choose. The mind is also creative as well as logical and reason- based. Again, we tend to favour one aspect of the mind or the other. In my experience, cultivating both the logical and creative sides of the mind gives you a greater breadth of learning, productivity and engagement. Here the mind begins to touch into intuition, instinct and the ability to connect into energies and forces that are much larger.

 

The third circle, the soul, is part of the energy centres of the being such as the chakras and meridians. Connecting to your soul connects you to your self, another route to your inner wisdom and growing experience and learning. Cultivate this with meditation, yoga, chi gong, martial arts and Reiki. Our book, Nourish the Flame Within, is full of meditations that nurture the soul and make it more powerful. The soul allows you to connect to others, facilitating empathy, compassion and connection to humanity.

The full human experience is the total integration of mind, body and soul.

The full human experience is the total integration of mind, body and soul.

There are exercises you can practice that allow to you consciously cultivate connecting all three circles at the same time. Some forms of martial arts, yoga, Reiki and dance will do this. Often it is good to cultivate one circle at a time such as some forms of meditation that get you to calm the mind and body so that you can energise the soul of your being. Often, you can work with two circles, so a workout may well work the mind and the body, or a walk in nature will cultivate the body and the soul. In truth, it is impossible to separate the three circles, as they are an integrated part of the human experience. Activities will favour one or two circles over the others.

 

Perhaps the key is being aware and working on developing the weaker circle(s) so that you become more balanced and whole. Then, you will have a more integrated experience with all the activities you do, making your life more engaging for the body, mind and soul. Only by consciously working on these circles can you work towards having a progressively more fulfilling and meaningful human experience. Get this combination of three circles right and you have deep human experience, where you become aware of something much larger than your self, perhaps even larger than the people you are sharing the experience with. You are not just engaging one circle, or even two circles. In fact you are engaging all three circles. Access your connection to Spirit through any of the circles and it will power up all three. Now you know you are connected not just to your self and to others. You are also connected to something bigger that feels powerful and makes you feel energized throughout your being.

 

We’d love to hear from you and find out how you work on developing your circles and how this has lead to you living more fully, freely and in a more connected and peaceful way. Please leave your comments in the box at the bottom of the page and share your experiences, insights and knowledge.

What are martial arts really about?

Martial Arts is about the power of the mind, body and spirit

Martial Arts is about the power of the mind, body and spirit

What is your impression of martial arts and martial artists? In your mind are they tough fighters? Do you think of MAA (mixed martial arts) competitions, violence and aggression? Are martial artists thugs in your opinion?

Would you shy away from martial arts because of this perspective? Would you be drawn to something that sounded more spiritual, graceful and elegant? Would you consider martial arts if it was more artistic, about self expression and personal development?

If so, then please read on. This blog is designed to dispel some myths about martial arts in general and to high light some of the central and fundamental precepts behind martial arts.

And if you still like the idea of the aggression and competition of martial arts then I invite to read on too. You may not always enjoy this aspect of martial arts, nor may you be aware of its awesome power and potential which opens to you when you train with a different perspective and understanding.

The Great Masters have always been men of Peace

Bruce Lee, Morihei Ueshiba, Myomoto Musashi and Master Tesshu were all violent men in their youth. It was only when they contemplated their mortality that they realised the futility of violence and they began the quest for greater and deeper understanding of The Way or The Tao. Nelson Mandela was essentially a terrorist as a young man and Gandhi used to beat his wife and children before fear and hatred gave way to love and compassion.

Martial arts can show the way to compassion and love if we choose to use the body and mind to explore the connection to self and others and the world at large. It is the cultivation of the spirit, or intuitive energy of our being, that brings this connection and the peace that comes with it. Not all martial arts styles teach this way of peace. I believe it was always the true way it was taught in the past. In the modern world some have discarded these principles in favour of the physical aspects only. In my experience a person needs the mind, body and spirit to be healthy and strong and able to work together to mutually enhance the life experience so a person can live a meaningful and fulfilling existence.

Martial arts is unique I think in offering the potential to cultivate all three aspects of the being. It is not an easy path, yet it offers the chance for true freedom, creativity and self expression, keeping the energy flowing on many levels of the being and creating the opportunity to find real peace.

This is why I have continued martial arts for over a quarter of a century. It was not why I started. It is why I stayed and why I continue to teach-so that others may find their own path to peace and harmony.

Over to you

What is your experience of martial arts? Has it changed with time? Has it changed with teacher or style? What has martial arts taught you about peace and connection….. and about violence? We’d love to hear from you and enter further into this wonderful subject of energy, peace and connection.

 

Life Engagement

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Life Engagement, Personal Intention, and Passion are all important. I see people today engaging in life through their mobile phones and their tablets. In a coffee shop the other day there were four separate couples with their heads in their phones and they never once spoke to their partners. I understand it is a generational thing, but I do hope that they engage with life and feel the excitement and thrill of living more fully, so that they are drawn into the joy of being alive. We deepen relationships with others through interaction. We can communicate at a distance but the more we focus on a task or a person the more fully we will connect.

Mechanical force
I understand that life is about engagement and connection. Business meetings, public speaking, dates, performing arts and sports are most successful when there is engagement, the feeling of presence and charisma that is undeniable and powerful. I teach and practise martial arts. When you perform a block or punch you may think that you are blocking or punching with your hand or your arm. This only diminishes your power and potential. In fact you are blocking and punching with so much more- your whole body is connected to that arm, and with good technique you can amplify the mechanical force of that movement. Good stance and posture, relaxation of the body, fluid motion, accuracy, timing and rhythm all contribute to the power of the movement.

Intention
There is more. There is intention behind that block or punch, the coherence of the mind and body working together to create a powerful movement. There is commitment. In “Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” Susan Jeffers describes an exercise to demonstrate the influence of thoughts on the body. Thinking in a positive mind frame palpably makes the body stronger than a negative mind frame, but she states that this affect is most profound the more the participant commits and feels what they are saying. I have tried this many times, and people are always surprised at the power their thoughts have on their physical being. A block or a punch will be far more powerful when there is commitment and focus on doing the technique. Focussing on fear weakens the body. In martial arts you practice technique to perfect union of mind, body and spirit in a positive and empowered state of being.

Effortless engagement with life
There is also passion that comes from the freedom of doing something effortlessly that is well practised and the subconscious trust and belief that the block or punch will work to defend the body. All these energies coalescing and focussing on the point of the punch or the block mean that you are punching and blocking with your entire being, not just with your arm. To do something with your whole being is to be fully connected and engaged with life. This is an expansive, liberating experience leading to freedom of expression and one’s uniqueness.

Passion
I passionately believe that martial arts are a mirror of life. When you look deeply enough you can take the lessons out of the training hall and apply them to life. And so it is with this…… it is a life- time’s practice to engage and remain engaged with life. To be truly present is to experience the moment entirely, to listen fully, to see clearly and to feel deeply.
In the movie Avatar there is a greeting the Na’ vi people make that I love. They say “I see you”, implying that there is more about you than the physical form I am looking at. There is something deeper.
We can all glimpse the deeper inner beauty of others and when that is sensed there is a realisation of how exciting that inner beauty can be.
Deep engagement with life and others will “Nourish the Flame Within”. When you feel the power of your connection with life it truly nourishes and sustains you. It amplifies passion of all sorts, and that is something worth living for!

Your unique message

The Bell

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Sit quiet.

Still the room, the body and the mind.

All that remains is Energy.

That feeling is you, the real you at this moment.

You are a silent bell ringing out,

Your vibration touching the world.

This feeling is not your clothes, your home, you car……

These things are not you

This feeling is-

The essence of your actions, your thoughts and the way you see the world.

Touch this and know it to be true

Never allow yourself to be confused again.

You can try to hide it

But you cannot stop the silent bell ringing.

Everyone hears it, so do not deny it.

Embrace it.

Express yourself fully.

You are already that vibration.

Do not be shy, do not be ashamed.

This is you in your completeness.

Hide none of it.

Explore all of it.

Discover all that you can be and become.

It is the journey of truth.

That is all life is about- listening to your own bell

And know that others have silent bells waiting to be heard.

Honour them, cultivate them and nurture them.

And though sometimes the journey may be hard

It will be fulfilling and you will do much.

I promise.

(Taken from Nourish the Flame Within- a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, martial arts and life by Lynette Avis and David Brown)

I wrote this poem after I heard “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles.  I had listened to the song many times, but this time I heard it.  The wisdom of the words echoed across time, the band members’ silent bells vibrating as they performed their beautiful message.

We are all silent bells, no different from “The Fab Four”.  They were, after all, working class lads from Liverpool.  No different than you or I.  They had a voice and were willing to share it with the world.  The world is a better place for it.

Please do not doubt that sharing your voice with the world will make it a better place.  Find your own way, discover your unique vibration and let your silent chime resonate out across the world.

The world is in dire need of people who are willing to share of themselves, just as people are in dire need to share themselves with the world.  Ring out.  It is what you do.  It is what you are meant to do.  It takes trust, compassion and love.  It may scare you- I know.  But there is so much you have to offer, and it is too good not to share.

With every chime, you nourish the flame within and make it stronger.  Let us create a symphony and build a bridge of sound that connects the world.  Let us create an inferno that warms every heart and nurture a world of peace and harmony.

All we need is love……….

 

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Lynette Avis and David Brown are the authors of Nourish the Flame Within- a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, Martial Arts and Life.  You can read more about our background and interests on the “About the Authors” link at the top of the page.  If you feel moved to do so please take a few minutes to leave a comment on this article- we are always happy to discuss the topics about which we feel so passionate.  You can also join us on the Nourish the Flame Twitter account at https://twitter.com/AvisandBrown and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LynetteAvisandDavidBrown .  We look forward to hearing from you.

Spirituality and Enlightenment

 

  

Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky

Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky

 

What is spirituality?  What is enlightenment? What role does meditation play in experiencing these states of being?  How can martial arts be harnessed to achieve these moments of bliss and extend them into eternity?

Spirituality is the search for the eternal truth- at least that is why I undertake a spiritual journey.  The truth is so vast and it can be sought using many varied paths.  Many seek through religion, others through practises of personal development and transformation such as yoga, meditation and martial arts, some use healing as a means to connect to ultimate reality, while others use science to discern the truth empirically, with measureable, quantifiable evidence.  These paths offer many benefits and individuals will be drawn towards one or many aspects that appeal to them. It is not to say that all people who practise these disciplines are seeking eternal truth.  For those that do have a desire to connect to the universal truth, these paths offer chances to glimpse an experience that is often fleeting and at the same time life changing, when the connection to the universal truth is made.  This is what I think the Masters called enlightenment- a series of spiritually enhancing experiences that bring the person closer to the ultimate truth.

Meditation takes you further away from the chatter of the mind and closer to the blissful silence of no- mind where you might experience the currents of universal energy flow and access wisdom and understanding that are beyond your conscious mind.  You might make intuitive leaps that give you insight or profound compassion that leads to healing and human connection far deeper than pills and potions can offer.  You reach a centre of calmness that need not leave you when you rise from your meditation practise.  You can carry it with you, a still centre in the vortex of life experience.  This state of peace and inner acceptance and power can also be achieved in martial arts- the forms provide a moving meditation that invoke dynamic stillness that may spread out across many moments achieving a state of deep calm and rapid, powerful movement.

Both martial arts and meditation can be practised to such a degree that life can become an endless experience of calmness and tranquillity.  From a balanced centre, a person can experience the joy of love, the power of combat and the beauty of art and life itself.  From this centre, there is a profound sense of self, of who I am and what I stand for.

Remaining centred is an intuitive art.  As the environment around you is changing, so you too must flow with the changing elements of your environment.  No moment is ever the same, no experience ever duplicated, simply an ever- changing flow of energy that remains in balance and harmony.  The conscious mind cannot do that.  Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky.  The reflection changes with every passing cloud, every animal that enters and moves in the landscape, each rustle of swaying branches.

So enlightenment, if you are to experience it for longer than that fleeting moment, means you become one with the environment.  Enlightenment is not a static state of being- it is fluid.  You must feel your way through the perfection of experience and being to remain balanced, in harmony and in blissful awareness of the ever expanding moment.

Nourish the Flame Within offers meditations that brings you to that centre, to remain there and honour that unique self that is inter- connected to all universal energy or ultimate truth.  To explore where that connection takes you is your journey to that eternal truth, that experience of enlightenment that becomes your spiritual path.

The Mind- Body Connection

We are aware of the mind- body connection- the idea that the thoughts of the mind influence the body and that the actions of the body influence the mind.  This manifests itself in the mental alertness we feel after a great workout or the calm wakefulness we may experience during and after meditation.

I came to martial arts seeking the adrenaline high and physical conditioning that comes from hard physical effort.  As a teenager it was a fantastic way to release pent- up energy and stay in shape.  I loved it and would walk away from a session full of enthusiasm and excitement.  As the years of training passed, the physical workouts began to fill me with a feeling of calm power- there was the same physical intensity, but there was an additional dimension I became aware of that really began to shift the way I experienced and perceived martial arts and the manner in which it affected me.

I believe that martial arts offer a unique combination of mind- body training that seeks to bring these two elements into balance.  Once this equilibrium is achieved tranquillity begins to emerge that allows us to become aware of a connection to Self- a spiritual quality that is beyond the mental and the physical.  It manifests itself in calmness and power, in directness, agility and stillness that is both physical and mental at the same time.  A connection to Self emerges that brings us into connection to all things.

The Masters of Japan, India and China spoke about this dimension of martial arts at length as if it was the true purpose of the training- a far cry from the macho mixed martial arts that we see today so prevalently across the world.  I will talk about this in a later blog.  They believed that the body housed the spiritual energy of the person and that the body had to be in good condition to be able to allow that energy the freedom it required to express and manifest itself in the world.  I will discuss that in a later blog also.

For now, we are discussing how martial arts do not simply excite the body and the mind.  They also stimulate the spiritual energy of the person.  As a student’s technical ability increases their body follows the natural energy lines that promote greater relaxation, power and accuracy.  Projection of spiritual energy begins to become greater and more focussed as their awareness becomes more honed.  They become more connected to the environment and people around them and their health benefits not just from physical excerption but also from the healthy flow of energy.  Martial arts can simply be a vehicle for greater spiritual connection (by which I mean to feel and understand the energy that flows within and around us all and connects us to everyone and everything).  Martial arts are unique because of the training format and the surface level benefits such as physical fitness, ability to defend oneself and others and the resultant confidence that comes from that.  Hidden behind that veil lies the true power of the life arts of a warrior.

Please do not be put off by this image as life is full of joy and hardship.  Only through this spiritual connection can we hope to remain centred and whole.  Martial arts teach us that we have the power to harness spiritual energy and direct it to do good in the world.  It also teaches us how to protect ourselves and others and to be able to live lives of peace and compassion.  Connection comes through awareness of the energy that links us to all which means we have the strength to walk through life with peaceful steps.  Compassion has many faces- to be tough when we need to be, to be soft when required but always with a sense of compassion and love.  Our actions emerge from spiritual energy that we hone and cultivate from the minute we begin our martial arts training.  Whether we realise it or not, we are after all is said and done, spiritual beings.

The Flame

Nourish your unique flame and enjoy your inner warmth.

Nourish your unique flame and enjoy your inner warmth.

Our lives can be dull or interesting it all depends on us. We make our own life’s choices and thus we nourish our own flame within. How we choose to nourish our flame is down to personal choice and our own likes and preferences within life itself. We can walk one road or another road all is within our own choosing.  All flames start with a single spark and all flames have the ability to grow into something bigger given the right fuel and conditions for growth. Our lives can be likened to a fire. They need to be fed with fuel to grow.

 The Spark

Before we can build a fire we need an initial spark to ignite it. By bringing two stones together and allowing them to interact in a single moment we can create a spark.  That tiny spark may then be taken to make a much large fire.

You are energy and anything that inspires you is energy also. By bringing both yourself and inspiration together there becomes an energy clash.   Life itself brought the energy of you and the energy of the inspiration together to create the clash. Once we have a clash of energy we have a spark to work with.

Once an artist saw a painting that gave him further inspiration to create a three dimensional piece called a mobile.  Mondrian was the artist of the painting and Calder was the artist of the three dimensional piece. Hey presto we had the very first mobile and an artistic genius. We have many musical geniuses also and once a musician called Brahms heard a piece of music by Schumann that inspired him to create Variations on a Theme by Schumann. Always there is the spark that takes the mind and creative juices forward.

For that initial spark to be created it requires openness for that spontaneous moment to occur.  The mind with all its rigid training may well stifle the creation of the spark by the power of its pre- conceptions.  Innovative thought cannot burgeon in such a restrictive and controlled environment.  We must be open, and freely search for possibilities of spontaneous inspiration.

The Flame

From the spark, fuel and air are required if it is to become a flame. The fuel is within each person, each person is the fuel and the air is the means by which the world is viewed.  So, if you are an artist you are visual and if you are a musician you are auditory and these are the primary filters by which you will view the world.

Of course we all have many filters and use them all in varying degrees but we do lean towards one or the other more depending on whether we are a seeing person a hearing person or a physical person.

When you are inspired, your reaction is to express that inspiration by creating through your personal predisposition and strength. This is the vehicle by which the spark becomes a flame.

The Fire

With each individual event of creation the fire is fuelled. An intense momentum occurs. If left too long between these inspirational events, the single flame weakens and may even die.

But if inspiration is sought out continually, that spontaneous moment of inspiration will happen more and more frequently.  The flame will grow stronger and the development of the fire will become and inevitable furnace of inspirational creativity. The Flame will be nourished and will grow.

Transformation

So what of you, the fuel?  Whatever was fuelled by this process was there to teach you. It was there to help you grow as a unique individual. This growth will take you further; it will be the catalyst for your next creation.

The process can only transform you.  You can only grow from it.  A life is created by work and effort as is skill itself and any work of art. All three require effort. The reward to you for effort is refinement, greater skill, more alive and you becoming more alight to life.

Creation

With each new creation, you are created anew.  You are endlessly evolving and growing day by day with your own effort. You are an active participant in your own life. Do not under- estimate the role you play and the power you exert on your own journey towards greatness.  Nourish your unique flame and enjoy your inner warmth.

Martial Arts and Reiki

Martial Arts has benefits to mind and body with artistic beauty interwoven.

Martial Arts has benefits to mind and body with artistic beauty interwoven.

Martial Arts

What martial arts is very much depends on who your teacher is and their motivations for practising and teaching their art.  In martial arts there are countless schools, each one a subtle (or not so subtle) variation of the one that went before.  They are not all the same, and that is how it should be.  However, I believe they should all have central values.  Although is it thought by many that learning to fight and to defend oneself in a physical sense is the main focus of any martial art it is in fact a  by-product of martial arts.

Learning to fight is a product of the martial arts none- the- less, however the context of that learning is all important.  Learning martial arts will teach the person physical co-ordination, conditioning, technique, mobility, flexibility and agility, and it also teach mind discipline, focus and intent which are essential life skills.  Honour, integrity and etiquette should be all central and core values of all martial arts. As a teacher of martial arts I feel that a mutual desire to create an encouraging and nurturing learning environment is vital to students’ progress.

Martial arts can also provide the opportunity for self- expression and encourage the student to create works of art.  A good teacher tries to find new and exciting ways and things to teach students to develop their skill in life as well as martial arts. A good school develops the martial arts by creating new forms, new techniques and new concepts that are a product of its passion for the subject.

As a student of martial arts, there is the opportunity for new learning and pushing the boundaries of your own potential which your teacher is qualified to assist you with.  Martial arts are a vehicle for unlocking your own innate potential in all things, not just martial arts.

Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese energy healing therapy. Rei means universal and Ki means energy in Japanese. It is a traditional method of energy healing that has been used for centauries but the understanding and practice became lost to modern man.  In recent times it has gained a revival. It was brought to the west by a Lady called Mrs Hawayo Takata who was a Japanese Hawaiian, just before the Second World War. Since that time Reiki has traversed the earth and is now used in many countries. Each country adds something to the practice of Reiki in the way it is performed and passed on. Reiki is passed on from master to student and not just taught in a traditional way, although there is traditional learning as well to master as a Reiki practitioner. The student of Reiki must master how to give a treatment both to them-selves and to others also they must master how to send Reiki energy over long distances to people who may need a treatment.  We all have a natural ability to heal. Reiki knowledge brings this ability to the fore for the student of Reiki. To be a Reiki practitioner the ability to connect to other people in a healing capacity on all levels of the person is cultivated, as Reiki itself heals the person on all levels. Reiki heals the practitioner as well as the patient. It heals on the mental, the physical, the spiritual and the emotional level of the person. Reiki can heal or support the healing of very serious illness. It does not harm in any way as subtle universal energy is part of the fabric of our being and so therefore can only be good for us. Reiki heals by flooding the body with universal energy and by doing this the body takes what it needs and replenishes the body to bring about healing of the physical body as well as the other bodies, emotional, mental, and spiritual, of the person. Reiki could be said to almost do it all. Reiki is a very effective healing therapy.

Which do you recommend for what kind of people?

Which you choose depends on you and where you are or what you wish for from your personal journey.   You are on your personal path and may choose what is right for yourself. People who wish to explore themselves and their own life and quality of life may wish to choose martial arts. People who are unwell and are looking for solutions to that ill health or people who wish to help others or loved ones manage their ill health or people who are looking to become therapy professionals may choose Reiki.

Your experience of martial arts will depend upon the teachers you choose, the values they hold and the method of their teaching.  Find people who are in line with your values.  You may also be surprised what martial arts offer.  It may well be that when you engage in either practice, Reiki or martial arts, they may shatter preconceived ideas that you may hold about either or both.  The key to your personal energy journey is to be open to new ideas and to try things and give them time to unfold.

 

What are the unique benefits of each?

Both Reiki and martial arts offer people mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health benefits. These benefits are not unique to Reiki and martial arts but are certainly very powerful.  Both martial arts and Reiki require mental focus to direct power and energy in certain ways.  Once we learn the skill we can be opened up to the natural benefits of these practices , such as better health, reduction in the rate and effects of aging, more vitality and productivity, more creativity not just in the artistic sense  but also relating to dealing with life’s problems, stresses and strains.

Martial arts can offer continued physical fitness, as well as an awareness of the body that leads to less injury.  Due to the high impact nature of martial arts, it can promote bone density which may reduce the effects of brittle bones later in life. The fact that martial arts demand a range of body movements may promote prolonged mobility and flexibility, as well as coordination, balance and overall body strength.

Reiki has many benefits.  Reiki is a quiet non-invasive therapy. It can be given hands off the body or hands on the body depending on what the person prefers.  It does not hurt and there are no pills, lotions or potions to take or apply. There are no needles as in acupuncture and only requires the person to lie on a couch and relax whilst the practitioner works. It is very effective and there has been some research done on Reiki that has found the effectiveness of Reiki with regard to many illnesses. It will help most illness to a greater or lesser extent. Reiki always helps, never harms and will work alongside any other form of treatment, giving that other treatment support and help to do its work. It will speed up results gained using other therapies.  It can be used alongside conventional medicine and will not interfere at all but will work in harmony with it. As the practitioner gives a Reiki treatment they too will obtain a treatment at the same time. Reiki helps with many of life’s difficulties as it brings about a calmer person and a person much more in tune with others. Reiki helps the practitioner strengthen their feeling of connection to all life and the universe.

“Best wishes from David and Lynette as you continue to nourish the flame within.”

Photo credit: Marc Arnold

Energy

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Life is an energetic encounter. Energy is everywhere and every moment of the day we encounter energy. We are energy interacting with energy. It is not usual for most of us to think of ourselves or our lives in this way. Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 tells us that all matter and the means by which matter interacts are all manifestations of energy. Everything is energy of one sort or another sort and we all feel energy.

We make sense of our external world by means of our senses. Our senses are filtering and assessing information that comes in our direction. The light from the world around us enters our eyes, and that information touches the retina and is relayed to the brain.  This information is then interpreted by the brain.  Sound waves enter the ear and are converted into electrical signals that travel along the auditory nerve to the brain.  This information is also interpreted by the brain. Our sense of touch will give us information on texture heat, type of material and general quality and much more of any object. We are energy and any given object is energy and when we touch something or something touches us it is nothing but an encounter of two energy types interacting. It does not matter whether that touch is physical or emotional it is all energy interacting in one way or the other with energy. All encounters are nothing but one energy type making sense of the other or one giving or exchanging information with the other.  The bottom line is energy interacts with energy. There are waves of many kinds interacting with us all of the time. We are constantly receiving electromagnetic waves such as TV signals and radio signals.

There is a subtle, naturally occurring electromagnetic energy that exists both inside and outside of ourselves that we interact with. This energy is called Chi, Ki, Prana and Psychic energy. It is all the same thing just known by different names. We can feel this energy and we can draw this energy into our body at will. Our body will draw this subtle energy in all of the time sub-consciously and we can do so consciously at will also. This energy is not entirely understood but it is known to be in existence and we know it impacts the body.

Gary Schwartz in the book “The Energy Healing Experiments,” explains that he did experiments with many people as he wanted to know if we all feel energy. The results of those experiments show that we all feel energy even if we think we do or not. In his experiments he had people that were blindfolded exposed to the energy of another person first on one hand and then on the other hand randomly. The experiments showed that we all feel energy and we all have an idea of where and when we are feeling that energy to some degree. Some people are supersensitive to it and other people are less sensitive to it. However we all feel it and it impacts our physical health and well-being.

 

What is energy manipulation?

We can all manipulate this energy. We do so subconsciously without knowing we do for the most part. We continually interact with subtle energy all of the time. There are many holistic healing methods that stimulate the subtle energy system. Reiki, acupuncture and cranial sacral therapy all employ various methods to stimulate the subtle energy system to bring about health and well-being within the person.

Subtle energy has many uses. It can help to heal the body and the emotions it can also help us to activate the chakra points on the body. By stimulating or activating the chakra points we can keep our body in balance and harmony thus aiding well-being of the emotions and the body in general. This is what the meditations seek to achieve in “Nourish the Flame Within”.  Awareness of energy in the chakra areas builds our relationship with energy within the body.  By placing our awareness on particular chakra points, we can influence the flow of energy within the body, leading to interaction with the world around us as well as within us.  We can also flood the body with subtle energy using Reiki therapy. By flooding the body in this way with subtle energy we saturate the body allowing it to take what it needs and expel what it has no use for. Thus the Reiki therapist does not need to know where the problem lays within the body just that there is a problem and by giving the body an abundance of what it needs it will be more able to find its own balance in a short time.

We can also flood the body with energy by doing certain physical exercises. The practice of Chi Kung and martial arts for example that have been done by eastern people such as the Chinese for many centuries exploit this knowledge. Within this practice exercises are done in sequences for the most part to stimulate the subtle energy to flow along the meridian lines of the body. The meridian lines are energy pathways through the body by which it is believed that the subtle energy flows.

As well as exercises and therapy we can also make energy move by using our will or our minds. This takes a little practice and belief and understanding of the reality of this ability that is within us all.  Once the person accepts this as a truth they will be willing to put in the small amount of practice to enable them to feel this energy consciously and make it move.

 

What are the steps for creating energy?

We cannot create energy nor destroy it; we can simply alter the form it takes. Everything within the universe (and that includes everything on the earth) is energy. However we can have an influence on the energy flow. For energy to flow anywhere the correct conditions must be in place. There must be a free pathway for the energy to flow into. This is true of all energy not just subtle energy. We can harness subtle energy and manipulate it by various methods. As I said earlier various therapy methods and exercise practices will enable the energy to flow freely and in abundance for good health and well-being. The bottom line is for free flow of energy throughout the body one has to either flood the body or manipulate the body or the energy system in some way to make it move. The ideal state with regards to energy flow within the body is free flow and movement of energy.

“Best wishes from Lynette as you continue to nourish the flame within with energy.”