Being Healthy-The New Lifestyle
Being “healthy” has become a lifestyle. It does not mean anymore “not being sick.” If we look around in society, the “health” concept is everywhere, from commercial products to fitness and cultural activities.
But in the midst of this all, we may forget the essential: Are we alive in the first place? Our modern life generates so much stress at all levels (emotional, physical, mental, energetic, social, etc.) that in the end we simply survive and are not really alive. If we are on constant survival mode, there is not much left in us to flourish personally and spiritually in our journey on earth!
Health does not come if there is no life, or chi vibrating in the first place. So let’s first bring back life in us – let’s move to a way of being that makes us see and experience reality with fulfillment.
There are many ways to make your life force vibrate. I am not talking about doing sports or a mere physical activity – you need to breathe and bring in more consciousness with it. Connect mind, body, and spirit. There is no one way to achieve this. Here I will share my own experience with my practice through which I feel alive.
Breath, Chi, and Consciousness
When I teach Myoku, I always spend time on breathing techniques and meditation in order to increase the vibration and circulation of chi and consciousness in the body. We, too often, underestimate the powerful link between Breath, Chi, and consciousness of the Now.
Being “alive” is more than having a “healthy” body, it is about having the consciousness that keeps the body vibrating in harmony with who we are. In sum, “being alive” is a combination of mind, body, and spirit. I teach Myoku as a Zen martial arts, but martial arts may not be for everyone. You have to find what suits you as a practice.
However, there are certainly general guidelines you can take from Myoku and incorporate into your daily life:
Breathing: Be aware of it and let your mind flow with it, IN and OUT. With your breath IN, let the mind go with your breath to every part of your body, and particularly the lower part of your belly (tandien, where the chi originates). Breathe IN and bring your mind with it even deeper, to the cellular level if you can (Yang). Breathe OUT by contracting your belly in and expanding your mind beyond what your eyes can reach, beyond the horizon, into space even! (Yin). Connect mind and body as much as you can and do not keep your mind in your head! Let your mind flow IN and OUT.
This takes us to the second principle: Chi.
Chi: The breath controls chi in you. Breathe deeply (depending on what you are doing) and slowly, and try to synchronize your movement with your breath: when you exert an action-breathe out. For example, breathe OUT when you shake hands, breathe OUT when you push a door open, breathe IN when you crouch to pick up something on the floor. Breathe IN and OUT with control of movements!
I even tell my students: when you climb stairs, take the time to count 4 breaths IN with 4 steps, then one strong breath OUT with one step, then start over. And there is so much more you can do! But that gives you an idea.
When Breath, Chi, and movement are synchronized that leads us to the third principle: Consciousness.
Consciousness: During training in the dojo, we develop deeper consciousness by practicing kata. But in everyday life, the practice translates into the same principle: the more you bring harmony within you, the more consciousness of the ‘Now’ comes to you.
The ‘Now’ is not seen as a matter of “time” but as a gate opening to a new reality: you breathe in, it is the Now; you breathe out, it is the Now. In the Now, you do not relate to things or people in the same way anymore. Your body vibrates at a higher level, and you naturally see things in perspective.
It benefits you on many levels, but the most important point is that it keeps your chi “alive” and it makes your “self” vibrate in all your cells. Be connected in that sense. The rest is simply…an experience on earth!
So, start your journey now. Try bringing more “life” in you, and…I would be glad to hear what happens to you.