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Old 01-26-2011, 12:37 PM   #76
David Orange
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Facinating! Thank you, David! Would you say the sensation of ki, however, is based on nerve function?
I wouldn't. I might be wrong, but as I understand it, ki is one's own ephemeral essence and has awareness and consciousness apart from mind, brain and nerves. So I would say that, no, the sensation of ki is felt by the ki itself and not through nerves.

What do you think?

Thanks.

David

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Old 01-26-2011, 12:38 PM   #77
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Correct. It was fascinating to me the first time I received myofascial therapy many years ago to realize the points being worked all corresponded to acupuncture points along meridians. The myofascial person had no exposure to TCM and didn't realize this until I said something.

For those curious to read more about differing conceptions of anatomy and physiology I strongly wholeheartedly recommend "The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine" by Shigehisa Kuriyama.
Interesting. Thanks.

David

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Old 01-26-2011, 12:42 PM   #78
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=146
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:59 PM   #79
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I wouldn't. I might be wrong, but as I understand it, ki is one's own ephemeral essence and has awareness and consciousness apart from mind, brain and nerves. So I would say that, no, the sensation of ki is felt by the ki itself and not through nerves.
For me it varies - when I focus on moving it from head to hands via breathing and extending - for migraine relief - and my hands become warmer, clearly what is happening in Western physiological terms is that I'm affecting a change in my autonomic nervous system - activating the parasympathetic component, which relaxes the peripheral vascular system and increases the blood flow.
Similarly I experience various small changes in focus, tension, weighting, etc when I play with it on the mat. Its possible that it is mostly autonomous system that is mediating the changes overall but I wouldn't swear to it.

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:11 PM   #80
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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David Orange wrote: View Post
I wouldn't. I might be wrong, but as I understand it, ki is one's own ephemeral essence and has awareness and consciousness apart from mind, brain and nerves. So I would say that, no, the sensation of ki is felt by the ki itself and not through nerves.

What do you think?

Thanks.

David
I think I need to study/practice more.
I do find it hard to swallow the idea that sensing ki doesn't happen through nerve function (of which the brain is more or less the nexus) at all, but I'm pretty open to the idea that the brain is capable of intuiting quite a lot.
...And just to be clear about my earlier post, I understand that major nerves don't run in line with the meridians, but figured that through the nerve-endings, (which do effectively allow for sensation across a whole surface, not just where the nerves themselves are located), the mind was able to form the "picture."
Interesting stuff though! Thanks again!
Matt

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #81
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I heard that Ki can also be detected with dowsing rods, although it never seems to work when James Randi is around.

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #82
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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as I understand it, ki is one's own ephemeral essence and has awareness and consciousness apart from mind, brain and nerves.
How would that work, David? What senses what? Where does the sensation register? And so on. People demonstrate ki physically, most often. When it's not physical (See: Encounters with Qi: Exploring Chinese Medicine by David Eisenberg for a good read from a sceptical point of view) there are limits to the effects. Given the physicality of it, then there must be a tangible explanation as opposed to the metaphysical.

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:40 PM   #83
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
2) Can drop their center of gravity without lowering their body.
I'd like to suggest that Mr. (Dr.?) James take a look at this one. I suspect a fairly simple series of measurements will show this not to be true. Of course, more specific details need to be clarified. For example, If one simply lowers ones arms the center of gravity is lowered but the body is not lowered.

Center of gravity is a technical term with a very precise definition. One may think they are lowering their center of gravity when performing 'sink the qi' but that is not actually what is happening.

As usual, very clear thinking is required in these undertakings.

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #84
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I do find it hard to swallow the idea that sensing ki doesn't happen through nerve function (of which the brain is more or less the nexus) at all, but I'm pretty open to the idea that the brain is capable of intuiting quite a lot.
...And just to be clear about my earlier post, I understand that major nerves don't run in line with the meridians, but figured that through the nerve-endings, (which do effectively allow for sensation across a whole surface, not just where the nerves themselves are located), the mind was able to form the "picture."
I think it's important to avoid confusing the "what" with the "how" in these discussions.

For example, Janet mentioned warming her hands through movement of ki. As she explained, it's very clear what has happened on a metabolic level: increased blood flow, leading to a sensation of warmth that is detected by the nerves in the hands. That does *not* mean, however, that ki is identical with the blood, or with the signals flowing along the nerve fibers, or that it is possible or desirable to directly manipulate blood flow with the mind.

Katherine
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:10 PM   #85
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I think it's important to avoid confusing the "what" with the "how" in these discussions.

For example, Janet mentioned warming her hands through movement of ki. As she explained, it's very clear what has happened on a metabolic level: increased blood flow, leading to a sensation of warmth that is detected by the nerves in the hands.
But temperature really increased or was it a sensation generated in her brain (the nerves in the hand didn't detected anything) while her hands temperature remained constant?

If the increase of temperature happened, can this be explained by a different cause than "movement of ki"?

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Old 01-26-2011, 02:17 PM   #86
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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I do find it hard to swallow the idea that sensing ki doesn't happen through nerve function (of which the brain is more or less the nexus) at all, but I'm pretty open to the idea that the brain is capable of intuiting quite a lot.
I notice that Mike comments on this below, as well. A neurologist friend also was very noncommittal on this possibility.

But to me, the senses of the ki are sort of like vibrations through Jello. You touch it one place and the whole mass feels it. So I'm not talking about the brain's intuiting something, but about the ki's feeling something throughout itself, like Jello receiving vibrations, without having to be processed by the intellectuality of the mind or even the physicality of the brain.

So I'm really talking about something independent of brain recognition and interpretation. But as I said...I'm exploring the brand new recognition of ki and sorting through which part does what. At this point, I'm getting the impression that the ki experiences things directly, on a non-intellectually-interpreted level, independent of both mind and brain. My neurologist friend, who is also an experienced martial artist, has declined to agree or disagree with this.

Moshe Feldenkrais said that mind could not exist without body because it would have no sensory input and nothing to relate to anything. But maybe (I wonder) it would just become cognizant on another level of non-physicality.

However, now I wonder if it's not true that "mind" is a function of the brain and nerves, therefore terminating when the brain/body dies.

Let's think, though. I've met people who I was certain were literally (or nearly) "mindless"--they had become like animals but it was possible for them to continue living and doing things among normal people.

Likewise, I've known people whose bodies were effectively destroyed, but whose minds were still extremely sharp--Stephen Hawking, for instance.

But when ki departs the body, both mind and body die.

So I wonder if an individual's ki might not be something a priori the mind and body that somehow continues to exist after the separation--akin to the concept of the soul or pran.

And of course, I don't know, but more importantly, I don't claim to know.

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
...And just to be clear about my earlier post, I understand that major nerves don't run in line with the meridians, but figured that through the nerve-endings, (which do effectively allow for sensation across a whole surface, not just where the nerves themselves are located), the mind was able to form the "picture."
I think that's true, but I don't think it covers everything and I think that ki does go where nerves don't. But of course, I don't know that for a fact.

Just thinking based on experience and contemplation of a lot of things I've read.

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Interesting stuff though! Thanks again!
Thank you.

David

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Old 01-26-2011, 02:53 PM   #87
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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How would that work, David? What senses what? Where does the sensation register? And so on. People demonstrate ki physically, most often. When it's not physical (See: Encounters with Qi: Exploring Chinese Medicine by David Eisenberg for a good read from a sceptical point of view) there are limits to the effects. Given the physicality of it, then there must be a tangible explanation as opposed to the metaphysical.
Well, certainly for martial applications, we can't omit the physicality of it and it certainly coordinates with the mind.

I'm just musing on the ultimate nature of it.

But Matt did ask about it in relation to nerves and the brain...

I'm just not limiting myself with any boundaries in consideration at the moment. I'm trying to directly perceive which is mind, which is ki, which is nerve, etc., and I'm also not trying to convince myself of any particular idea. I'm just looking at them and pondering them.

In any case, none of the martial applications that I'm interested in are done except by coordination of the ki with all the other elements of the body and mind.

But I am thinking that mind/ki both work independently of the nerves.

And on that line, I e-mailed a friend to see if he'd like to try one of the things we've been working on--agete, pushout, etc--but he was in a distant location and couldn't meet me.

I said, "Don't worry. I'll do it here and you just tell me if you just scratched your nose."

To my amazement, he replied that he had not scratched his nose.

So I learned something from that...I think...

Thanks for the food for thought.

David

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Old 01-26-2011, 02:54 PM   #88
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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But temperature really increased or was it a sensation generated in her brain (the nerves in the hand didn't detected anything) while her hands temperature remained constant?

If the increase of temperature happened, can this be explained by a different cause than "movement of ki"?
From Janet's point of view, there is no difference. She has no way to consciously perceive warmth except through the brain. Taping a thermometer to her hands would answer the question for the rest of us.

(Sorry to pick on you, Janet, just a convenient example.)

Similarly, the *cause* of the (presumed) temperature increase was simply increased blood flow. That could in turn be driven by any number of things: increased blood pressure or heart rate, reduced pressure anywhere along the arms, or flow of (hypothetical) ki. But from Janet's point of view, thinking of it in terms of "movement of ki" clearly produces the desired effect. I don't require "proof" of the separate existence of ki to make use of ki in my training, any more than I require proof of the existence of electrons in order to wire a light switch.

Katherine
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:00 PM   #89
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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But to me, the senses of the ki are sort of like vibrations through Jello. You touch it one place and the whole mass feels it. So I'm not talking about the brain's intuiting something, but about the ki's feeling something throughout itself, like Jello receiving vibrations, without having to be processed by the intellectuality of the mind or even the physicality of the brain.
Nerve endings lining the inside of the bowl could also perceive vibrations in the Jello, even if there are no nerve endings within the Jello itself.

I'm quite open to the idea of sensations occurring below the level of conscious recognition, but much more skeptical of the notion that ki functions entirely independently of the brain.

Katherine
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:05 PM   #90
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Ever hear the story about the Tibetan monks, the wet sheets, and meditation?

http://physiologyonline.physiology.o.../13/3/149.full

Quite possibly, had she looked at a thermometer, taped to her hand, Janet would have said, "yup."

[The article above is also offered as information about some of the other things a trained mind and body can accomplish, and some of the indirect ways you have to go about some of it....]

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:18 PM   #91
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
I'd like to suggest that Mr. (Dr.?) James take a look at this one. I suspect a fairly simple series of measurements will show this not to be true. Of course, more specific details need to be clarified. For example, If one simply lowers ones arms the center of gravity is lowered but the body is not lowered.

Center of gravity is a technical term with a very precise definition. One may think they are lowering their center of gravity when performing 'sink the qi' but that is not actually what is happening.

As usual, very clear thinking is required in these undertakings.
As an engineer I am well aware that you can't effectively change you COG in a static position. Like you said, this is effectively what it feels like to a partner whether one is passively recieving a push or activly adding to it. In such a case it becomes a question not only of where one is originating there response or how They are letting that. Incoming force pass throuh their body.

None the less, I would to be curious as to how athletic training can replicate the effect.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:42 PM   #92
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
But temperature really increased or was it a sensation generated in her brain (the nerves in the hand didn't detected anything) while her hands temperature remained constant?

If the increase of temperature happened, can this be explained by a different cause than "movement of ki"?
Actually, it is not metabolic, Katherine - I believe it is autonomic nervous system activation, but not the sympathetic side we are more familiar with, but the parasympathetic which has the reverse effects, including relaxation of the support structure of the blood vessels (lowering of blood pressure but also vasodilation, which promotes blood flow to the extremities.

Demetrio the increase in temperature is demonstrated with a handheld thermometer. I understand what you are getting at by your question....all I can say is that if I were to ponder my parasympathetic nervous system from now until next November I doubt I could do a darn thing. So I am happy to describe my ability to induce changes in my physiology, which are similar to those that can be reliably done in labs and professional offices via biofeedback, as movement of ki because it works for me to effect the changes by approaching it that way.

And since there is an entire body of medicine based on this, why NOT posit that there is something non-magical within the brain-body physiology that can't actually be scanned but that is the thing that lets us take conscious control of portions of our usually automatic function be it via feedback, yogic practices, or visualisation of moving ki?

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 01-26-2011 at 03:44 PM. Reason: grammar

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:42 PM   #93
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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As an engineer I am well aware that you can't effectively change you COG in a static position. Like you said, this is effectively what it feels like to a partner whether one is passively recieving a push or activly adding to it. In such a case it becomes a question not only of where one is originating there response or how They are letting that. Incoming force pass throuh their body.

None the less, I would to be curious as to how athletic training can replicate the effect.
My point would be that this stuff is hard enough without using words and phrases, especially technical terms/concepts, incorrectly. This is not mere semantic quibble either. If you will permit me to imitate Mike Sigman -as an engineer how would you describe the effect ('sink the qi') using western technical terms? It will help the athetically inclined to attempt to replicate the skill if they know exactly what is being referred to.

To be fair I'm not able just yet to answer my own question. I can replicate the feat with minimal IS training but only to a limited extent that is likely less than martially viable. I'm certain that when I do it there are very small motions present that may not be visible to the casual observer. I'd be very interested to see someone more practiced 'wired up' to see just how much motion is actually happening.

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:44 PM   #94
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

BTW having in other threads specified that I have done this WITH the thermometer (my Kaiser doctor gave me for that very purpose) I didn't think to specify it again but clearly I was wrong...sorry.

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:51 PM   #95
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Actually, it is not metabolic, Katherine - I believe it is autonomic nervous system activation, but not the sympathetic side we are more familiar with, but the parasympathetic which has the reverse effects, including relaxation of the support structure of the blood vessels (lowering of blood pressure but also vasodilation, which promotes blood flow to the extremities.
There I go with my sloppy not-a-medical-professional usage...

Thanks for the clarification.

Katherine
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:05 PM   #96
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

From the posted article,
[w]hereas meditation is a state of parasympathetic dominance, in advanced meditators there is also enhanced control over sympathetic activity. Either sympathetic or parasympathetic activation then becomes possible. A hypometabolic state of parasympathetic arousal, however, remains the doorway as well as the fundamental context for these potential changes. In other words, sympathetic control in the presence of parasympathetic dominance is the fundamental principle underlying what has been reported in advanced practitioners as the voluntary control of internal states.

FWIW

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Old 01-26-2011, 04:21 PM   #97
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Demetrio the increase in temperature is demonstrated with a handheld thermometer.
Thanks.

Quote:
And since there is an entire body of medicine based on this, why NOT posit that there is something non-magical within the brain-body physiology that can't actually be scanned but that is the thing that lets us take conscious control of portions of our usually automatic function be it via feedback, yogic practices, or visualisation of moving ki?
Because saying "I don't know how and why this happens" would be more honest than saying "This happens because I'm moving ki"?

Moving ki sounds better. It means you are skilled, wise and awesome, "I don't know" puts you in a lower place of the social scale.

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Old 01-26-2011, 04:47 PM   #98
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
As an engineer I am well aware that you can't effectively change you COG in a static position. Like you said, this is effectively what it feels like to a partner whether one is passively recieving a push or activly adding to it. In such a case it becomes a question not only of where one is originating there response or how They are letting that. Incoming force pass throuh their body.

None the less, I would to be curious as to how athletic training can replicate the effect.
One of the most startling things I ever experienced in MA was around 30 years ago. I'd met a "kung fu" teacher--no specific style mentioned--and we were sparring a little. I went in for seoi nage and it felt like a large cannonball dropped from his chest way down deep into his abdomen and he was suddenly like a rock and I couldn't move him. It was just the weirdest sensation. I felt this huge weight inside him just drop down sharply and I couldn't budge him. We both laughed really hard. The difference was that he knew how he did it and I didn't.

Wish I could find that guy again.

Best wishes.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 01-26-2011 at 04:51 PM.

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Old 01-26-2011, 05:14 PM   #99
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Because saying "I don't know how and why this happens" would be more honest than saying "This happens because I'm moving ki"?

Moving ki sounds better. It means you are skilled, wise and awesome, "I don't know" puts you in a lower place of the social scale.
How about "I don't know, but it works better when I think about moving ki?"

Katherine
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:49 PM   #100
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

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Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
From the posted article,
[w]hereas meditation is a state of parasympathetic dominance, in advanced meditators there is also enhanced control over sympathetic activity. Either sympathetic or parasympathetic activation then becomes possible. A hypometabolic state of parasympathetic arousal, however, remains the doorway as well as the fundamental context for these potential changes. In other words, sympathetic control in the presence of parasympathetic dominance is the fundamental principle underlying what has been reported in advanced practitioners as the voluntary control of internal states.

FWIW
Cool - thanks- it makes perfect sense because from a neurophysiological point of view inhibition of one system allows the agonist system to predominate. So if one learns to inhibit or override the sympathetic one can achieve parasympathetic effects.

To me this points to the essential issue in "proving" ki .... I have no idea which of the two possible systems I'm acting on, but it doesn't actually matter because my subjective experience that is having a real result (again, just as biofeedback folks - my brother in law learned this very same skill with biofeedback in a doctors office deep in the heart of Texas) is that what I am doing is what I understand as moving ki.

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