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Old 08-30-2006, 11:57 AM   #26
Moses
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

fascinating stuff,

Mike, any thoughts as to why there is a magnetic sensation that appears when attention is brought to the connective tissues? Which, seems can be increased/altered by the breath?

Also, for reasons I am not totally sure, I was taught a differentiation w/ silk exercises, i.e. "reeling silk" & "pulling silk". The idea was "reeling silk" pertained to just the physical movements of the body, e.g. connecting the tip of the fingers to the tip of the toes and trying to figure out how to maintain connection while attempting various twisting, winding, etc. type postures. As for "pulling silk" its supposed to be the addition of the "yi", or "intention, awareness, mind, etc", which was to train & maintain the subtle sensation created by each pathway. That being said, I always have wondered if there is any real difference between the two. It seems that if you start w/ the movements, hopefully the mind should follow, & if I get lucky someday, then perhaps my mind will lead my body
Any thoughts
Thanks Moses
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:27 PM   #27
dps
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
Have you ever seen O'Sensei's favorite portrait of himself? He has a sword strapped across his back and this huge Buda belly. He says it signifies power. If so I must be a powerful man too.
I remember reading about the misinterpretation of the Buddha belly on statues of Buddha. It symbolizes power not fat. It is an ongoing joke with my wife about my fat belly.

I enjoyed the excerpt from your book. Could you post more from it?

The article from your link (http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_105441.html) reminds me of networked systems where less powerful microprocessors are used throughout the system to relieve the main microprocessor of smaller tasks.

Thank You
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:32 PM   #28
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Moses Jenkins wrote:
Mike, any thoughts as to why there is a magnetic sensation that appears when attention is brought to the connective tissues? Which, seems can be increased/altered by the breath?
I understand on a theoretical basis the causative effects outlined in Oschman's book on "Energy Medicine", but I don't do anymore than comprehend... my understanding of electro-magnetic theory is fairly good, but not in the area of bio-electricity. I assume that he's generally in the right area since a number of studies with measured results are mentioned for support. But that's about the limit I'm willing to support his contentions. Some of his book strikes me as advocacy more than evaluation.
Quote:
Also, for reasons I am not totally sure, I was taught a differentiation w/ silk exercises, i.e. "reeling silk" & "pulling silk". The idea was "reeling silk" pertained to just the physical movements of the body, e.g. connecting the tip of the fingers to the tip of the toes and trying to figure out how to maintain connection while attempting various twisting, winding, etc. type postures. As for "pulling silk" its supposed to be the addition of the "yi", or "intention, awareness, mind, etc", which was to train & maintain the subtle sensation created by each pathway. That being said, I always have wondered if there is any real difference between the two. It seems that if you start w/ the movements, hopefully the mind should follow, & if I get lucky someday, then perhaps my mind will lead my body
Well, the way I've always understood the term (there is some disagreement, historically, and nowadays the Yang family swears they really do "reeling silk" and that "pulling silk" was a misunderstanding), reeling silk winds the body in the way it naturally winds as the force behind its jin; pulling silk is a linear in-out usage of jin. Theoretically, for complex reasons I'd rather not try to write out, reeling silk is the only solution to "pure" usage of the jin, so anyone who uses jin/kokyu who doesn't use winding/spiralling would technically be admitting to a lapse (a lot of this stuff is overdone, as in any other field of endeavour).

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:49 PM   #29
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

In looking at the book which is posted as I noted in post #16 on this thread, I noticed something pretty interesting. Tohei specifically says that the "one point" is not where most people think it is but is in a spot on a level with the pubic bone. I'm very interested in that comment, but out of caution, I'd like to ask if anyone has the original book in Japanese and can examine the context and meaning in order to be sure the translator had it right.

I hate to build on if-maybe's, but if he really says that, it's pretty interesting, taken in the context of what he says before and after it. There is a *big* question about "tension" in the way it's being used in the translation, also. I'd really appreciate it if someone has the original in Japanese and could comment.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:27 PM   #30
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
I hate to build on if-maybe's, but if he really says that, it's pretty interesting, taken in the context of what he says before and after it. There is a *big* question about "tension" in the way it's being used in the translation, also.
Mike, there is Shinichi Tohei's Ki Weblog (in English) and this link with reference to Tohei's book. The latter is all in Japanese, so I'm not sure where to go from there ...

From my training, the one-point has been always described as a more-or-less location. I've heard the top of the hips location many times. Finding it in yourself is the key. What I get with ki breathing practice is tension, compression, inflation, etc. (and the occasional pleasant adjustment to my lower spine) ... all good stuff. Through all this I get the image of myself as being in the shape of something like a gel-tab, or oblong shaped balloon, while in-haling. Down low in this shape and deep within, I find the calm which is my one-point. No tension there. Sort of like the eye of a hurricane. There is more going on which I am not able to satisfactorily describe in this post. However, much of what you and Rob John have been talking about, has been giving me some "aha!" moments, as I try to apply what I've "learned" to what I "know". Just thought you wouldn't mind a viewpoint from someone who trains (although definitely not an authority) in Tohei's methods.

thanks,
Adam
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:44 PM   #31
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote:
Mike, there is Shinichi Tohei's Ki Weblog (in English) and this link with reference to Tohei's book. The latter is all in Japanese, so I'm not sure where to go from there ...
Thanks muchly for the reference.
Quote:
From my training, the one-point has been always described as a more-or-less location. I've heard the top of the hips location many times. Finding it in yourself is the key. What I get with ki breathing practice is tension, compression, inflation, etc. (and the occasional pleasant adjustment to my lower spine) ... all good stuff. Through all this I get the image of myself as being in the shape of something like a gel-tab, or oblong shaped balloon, while in-haling.
I use a balloon analogy a lot, but more in line with a human-figure-shaped balloon with an airtight fabric as the skin.
Quote:
Down low in this shape and deep within, I find the calm which is my one-point. No tension there. Sort of like the eye of a hurricane. There is more going on which I am not able to satisfactorily describe in this post. However, much of what you and Rob John have been talking about, has been giving me some "aha!" moments, as I try to apply what I've "learned" to what I "know". Just thought you wouldn't mind a viewpoint from someone who trains (although definitely not an authority) in Tohei's methods.
Good viewpoints, Adam. One of the problems is that ever-prevalent "slight skew" that tends to lead people off-track. A lot of my closer questioning is to get a feel for what the real track is, under peoples' buzzwords. Since there are only a limited number of buzzwords, too often everyone chimes in with "oh, we practice that stuff all the time" or "oh, my teacher talks about that all the time", when in reality the congruence simply isn't there. And I don't say that negatively... it's just one of those things to always be on the lookout for.

Mike
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:23 PM   #32
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Thanks muchly for the reference. I use a balloon analogy a lot, but more in line with a human-figure-shaped balloon with an airtight fabric as the skin.
Well, sure ... if you want to be reasonable. But I need more drastic help, so as to punch out the kinks.
Quote:
Since there are only a limited number of buzzwords, too often everyone chimes in with "oh, we practice that stuff all the time" or "oh, my teacher talks about that all the time", when in reality the congruence simply isn't there.
Well, I don't mean to imply "been-there-done-that." My instructors do not approach "ki" training with the same methods, you and others talk about. However, I am finding the end goal near enough the same to dig deeper into what training I have been offered, and to find the gems within.
Quote:
And I don't say that negatively... it's just one of those things to always be on the lookout for.
That's what I'm doing.

thanks,
Adam

Last edited by Adman : 08-30-2006 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 08-30-2006, 09:40 PM   #33
Moses
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

for curiosity sake,
Anyone have any thoughts beyond the connective tissues, beyond the breath? Is unifying the connective tissue pathways w/ the breath in a three dimensional realm spontaneously the end? I guess what I am trying to ask is this, our these conversations opening the door or are they to get everyone on the same page?
FWIW
Moses
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:04 PM   #34
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Moses Jenkins wrote:
I guess what I am trying to ask is this, our these conversations opening the door or are they to get everyone on the same page?
Functionally, these things are the beginning of getting there. It's just the start... and that doesn't work if a person doesn't put out persistent effort. In terms of "everyone on the same page", it will never happen. Most people are not really interested in Aikido or the other arts that much, Moses. These kinds of talks are generally meant for a small faction, but the good thing is that it's usually a faction of pretty neat people who are really interested in martial arts for the sake of martial arts.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:33 AM   #35
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

For me it is part of a holistic approach to budo and life. This thread is doing what I had hoped by allowing me to see how other people view and define the process of deep breathing.

Physical training is misogi for the body by cleansing the skin and muscular structure, deep breathing is misogi for the internal organs and blood and meditation is misogi for the mind and prayer is misogi for the spirit. Taken all together in a serious training regiment this can lead to a lucidity.

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Old 08-31-2006, 10:15 AM   #36
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

And I'd just like to point out that the conversation was had without any animosity or sidelines. Good thread, and thanks to the participants.

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-31-2006, 10:33 AM   #37
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
And I'd just like to point out that the conversation was had without any animosity or sidelines. Good thread, and thanks to the participants.
Ack! Ron! You spoiled the thread with an off-topic comment!

I've been thinking about this whole idea of "cleansing" and what it means if the various subtleties are looked at. I.e., I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't a slight skew in the idea, given some of the early connotations of the subconscious for possession, the kami for the inception of some physical functions, the general misunderstanding of "harmony" in the context of an orderly universe, and so on.

"Cleansing" may not be a totally accurate attribution for "Misogi" in other words. It may *partially* be correct, but it doesn't truly account for all the training modalities that are definitely in a Misogi regimen. Breathing is training (and a very complex training). Fune Kogi Undo is a training. Furitama is actually a form of training, too. While there may be a connotation of "spritual cleansing" based upon a philosophical view of the Misogi practices, there is a practical overlay that I think should always be searched for. If there's one thing I've found time and time again in relation to seemingly esoteric Asian practices, they usually had a practical inception, not a metaphysical one. Those people did things because they worked, not because they were exotic.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:58 AM   #38
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

BTW, just to mention a point that's been made before, the type of breathing exercise that I mentioned in the 2nd post on this thread... that's the sort of power-producing-augmenting breathing that leads to great power. When the force-directions training is augmented with this kind of breathing, you get the full (not just the "essence" part that is "jin") "Kokyu" power.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:07 AM   #39
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

"Because they worked" is the key element in my thinking. I read a long time ago that Miyamoto Musashi said "do nothing that is of no use". I admit that is hard to do but I like to aim in that direction. One could replace martial arts with farming or any other hard physical labor and keep the breathing, prayer and meditation the same and achieve the proper state of being and an ideal level of Ki in the body. I guess that is one thing that separates my way of thinking from Mike. I believe, and I may be mistaken, that to Mike's way of thinking one has to set out on a purposeful mission to develop Ki and I believe and have been taught that a proper state and balance of Ki will happen if one sees to their physical, spiritual and mental needs. There are many levels and kinds of Ki. To that end I have never sought Ki or knowingly engaged in activities that are meant solely to develop Ki. My goal was health, to keep breathing and living another day, so I engaged in activities that allowed this to happen. Since budo is one of the key elements of my training I believe over 45 years I have developed a certain amount and kind of Ki that is needed in that activity. I have neither the intellectual capacity nor eloquence of speech to say what that is or at what level it operates. It is simply there and it works to my satisfaction.

I do love to read how other people approach this path because it does give insight into the workings of activities that have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years.

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Old 08-31-2006, 11:15 AM   #40
James Young
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Fune Kogi Undo is a training. Furitama is actually a form of training, too. While there may be a connotation of "spritual cleansing" based upon a philosophical view of the Misogi practices, there is a practical overlay that I think should always be searched for.
Since I'm not really a believer in Shinto where these and other such practices originated from (and before that likely originated from China or Inida or wherever), that is something I am constantly thinking about as well. I really believe it is important to do these exercises properly, not just the form, as I think doing so will provide some significant, practical benefits for our practice in aikido.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:51 AM   #41
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

FUNATORI -- FURUTAMA from A Collage of Poppy's Life a Book to My Grandchildren by Dennis Hooker c.r 1999

I start by taking one natural step forward with my left foot. Leaving the right in the rear position. Now I widen the distance just a little further than my normal walking gate. At first I had to experiment and find a comfort distance. I place my hands close to my side at the hip joint. They are closed as if I'm holding a boat ore , but they are not clinched. Now I move center forward bending the front knee while extending the hands out to the front of my body. I visualize lifting the ores out of water shifting to the forward position lowering the ores into the water and pulling back. I do all this with as much hip and leg motion as I can. At the apex of the extension the center begins to move back as the back knee bends and the front knee straightens. The hands are brought to the side in line with the hip joint again.

I endeavor to move the tanden (center) in a straight even line with as little bobbing up and down motion as possible. With the movement forward and the expansion of the body the breath flows into the tanden. With the movement to the rear the body contracts and the breath is forced out. Throughout all these Aikido based exercises remember body expansion requires breath in and body contraction requires breath out. Movement and breath, breath and movement are one.

As the body expands with arms extended the air flows into the lungs. As the body contracts with hands drawn to the hip joint the air is forced out of the body, this creates a harmony of motion. Each full movement of the body requires a complete cycle of breath.

Now I go through the other half of this exercise. After doing the rowing exercise for a short time I stand with my feet about shoulder with apart. I cup the left hand over the right as if covering an egg. I lift my arms over my head and then bring them down front of the tanden. I begin to shake the hands just strongly enough to feel the movement throughout the body. I continue this for about five minuets before shifting back to the first part. Remember what I said about deep breathing and that 1750 ml. of air in the bottom of the lungs that can't be voluntarily expelled? That's the residual volume if you remember. During the shaking I believe that the level of the oxygen in the bottom of the lung is increased and the level of the carbon dioxide is reduced. This improves the over all oxygen count in the blood and increases the internal body heat. I have done this with folks in the snow and we melt the snow.

Saotome Sensei recommended I do this in the morning for a minimum of 45 minuets. I have found that it builds core heat in my body and if I then step into freezing water my skin pores will close down holding the heat inside for a short time as long as I continue to shake. I guess it's much like shivering to create body heat but done much more methodically. When I step out of the water and the pores of my body open the flood of sensation is beyond belief. It's like my universe explodes into brighter colors and more sounds, the senses are amplified and flooded. Sometimes it's almost to much to stand.

I have had much the same experience in an Cherokee Sweat lodge after a hard physical challenge.

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Old 08-31-2006, 12:09 PM   #42
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
Now I go through the other half of this exercise. After doing the rowing exercise for a short time I stand with my feet about shoulder with apart. I cup the left hand over the right as if covering an egg. I lift my arms over my head and then bring them down front of the tanden. I begin to shake the hands just strongly enough to feel the movement throughout the body. I continue this for about five minuets before shifting back to the first part.
Just as a suggestion, Dennis, let me throw in an alternative focus on the actual shaking. You can pretend that the dantien/tanden is a ball inside your abdomen and that there is a fiberglass rod coming from that tanden/ball out to the ball/egg/sphere of your hands. Try to shake the hands only by moving the tanden/dantien up and down. The tanden/dantien movement gets its support from the floor. And yes, at first the motions are not so good, but with practice, doing the furitama by only moving the tanden/dantien will strengthen the power of the tanden area and will induce odd feelings in the body. FWIW


Best Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:51 PM   #43
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Mike I have done it that way and without exception it produces in me the most melancholy of feelings. Nothing I can describe except perhaps a foreboding feeling. Not pleasant at all and the longer I do it that way the longer the feeling lasts, sometimes for days. Folks should know that what we are talking about are no passive exercises and should be done with someone who understands the ramifications of these activities.

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Old 08-31-2006, 01:02 PM   #44
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
..it produces in me the most melancholy of feelings. .
Hi Dennis:

Well, it was only a suggestion. In all the various qigongs and meditations and martial arts I was taught, the hands are moved by the tanden/dantien/hara... all the time, for every move. But, each to his own.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:19 PM   #45
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Has anyone dealt with the proscriptions against some of the traditional qigongs, and / or the little details that some require to avoid pitfalls like the one Dennis just described? An example for the one above...we are always told to keep the tongue pressed firmly against the roof of the mouth.

I've heard various explanations for this, from the practical (we are supposed to do this throughout our practice actually, keeps from biting your tongue or talking to much), to the mechanistic (creates certain connections for the body work), to the quasi-spiritual (keeps the ki from rising up into your head and causing mental/spiritual problems). Does anyone have any good written sources on any of this? Or even personal anecdotes?

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-31-2006, 01:49 PM   #46
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

My third hand info had this as a matter of "completing a circuit" between yang and yin channels. I've been meaning to ask about the tongue for a while. It was emphasized in a simple breathing trick to calm down, which I picked up from Yoga long before I got in Aikido

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:59 PM   #47
Mike Sigman
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Has anyone dealt with the proscriptions against some of the traditional qigongs, and / or the little details that some require to avoid pitfalls like the one Dennis just described? An example for the one above...we are always told to keep the tongue pressed firmly against the roof of the mouth.

I've heard various explanations for this, from the practical (we are supposed to do this throughout our practice actually, keeps from biting your tongue or talking to much), to the mechanistic (creates certain connections for the body work), to the quasi-spiritual (keeps the ki from rising up into your head and causing mental/spiritual problems). Does anyone have any good written sources on any of this? Or even personal anecdotes?
Well, I used to shrug it off as one of those little idiosyncratic things that is more ritual than anything else, but once again I got bitten in the butt.

I can't really tell you the full story, Ron, but it actually does help to "complete a circuit". However, it's one of those "circuits" that you don't feel unless you do a fair amount of the breathing practice I described near the beginning of the thread and then add a little more to it.

A way to approach a more easily understood pointer to the problem (since I can't tell you directly, maybe I can point to the physical phenomenon that leads to it). There's a sort of "feeling" that goes along with the fascia training and involves a very faint "tension". The problem is that the fascia sheets get interrupted by the anus and by the mouth, if you track a circuit up the back and down the front (the so-called "microcosmic orbit"). In order to complete the circuit despite the gaps, the tongue touches the upper palate and the anus is slightly clenched.

For all practical purposes, you at least have a pointer to the problem. Feeling it would take some time and training, unfortunately.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:14 PM   #48
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Thanks Mike! (and Alfonso),

Has anyone heard of the sort of problem Dennis described?

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-31-2006, 03:44 PM   #49
Michael McCaslin
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Mr. Sigman,

I was just looking more closely at the exercise you described in the second post on this thread. When you describe the pulling the stomach in with the breath, are you suggesting that we do "reverse breathing", where the dantian/hara hara expands on exhalation?

I use both this type of breathing and the "Buddhist" breathing, where the dantian/hara fills and expands with inhaling and contracts with exhaling, during standing practice. I don't really have a set pattern, sometimes one seems to do more than the other, usually I try to spend some time doing both each "session."

Would you mind describing how the execise should feel for both types of breathing (for the exercise you described)? Does the pull on the suit change quality or direction with reverse breathing, or is it augmented? Is there a benefit or detriment to regulating the exhale rather than just relaxing, maybe a "push" of the suit rather than a release?

Michael
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:04 PM   #50
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Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning

Maybe this will help.
Taoist Tranquil Sitting & Healing Methods
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