Re: Breathing Exercise and Meditation
Speaking of Misogi techniques and cold mountain streams and ki and kokyu, I went to look at Craig's home dojo website and the page on Ki had the following:
"Extending Ki is a natural state that we knew intuitively as babies, but as we have grown up in the hectic modern society of today we have forgotten how to let the Ki of the Universe flow through us."
The Chinese version of this comment refers to "Early Heaven" versus "Later Heaven" powers. So you have a lot of people naming their schools "Early Heaven Such and Such" and so on. However, the literal translation is not what the idiom actually refers to. What they mean is that we all have instinctive strengths and reactions when we're born and we all learn to move and act differently with "normal" strength and reactions. If we want to regain the instinctive strengths of man, we have to practice correctly to train them back and we have to do it enough so that they again become instinctive.
But on another level, there's more to it. Misogi breathing and other Ki exercises, along with Kokyu practice are methods for regaining the innate powers that we've lost as humans. I.e., the saying is that animals have strong Ki powers (animals are unusually strong for their sizes while man is weak for his size), but man has lost them through evolution (this is what the sentence I quoted was referring to, really). The breathing and stretching (as animals do, to keep themselves toned) and subconscious-strengthening of Ki exercises has this re-acquisition in mind.
Just a thought along the lines of the thread.