Heart to Heart
My Dear Readers and Fellow Martial Artists,
I open my windows, and smell the sweet smell of spring. I smell the sweet fragrance of budding flowers, of new fresh leaves on the trees, and I hear the birds sing.
This reminds of me of my training time under my Master, deep in the heart of Korea. Sometimes I was outside only because my father locked me out of the house, simply because I was his firstborn, and a girl. But no matter how bad my circumstances turned out to be, through my Master’s teachings I realized that it didn’t matter, the only thing that mattered was my attitude. I learned to rejoice in the lesson of pain and hurt, they gave me strength, and they gave me freedom. I also realized that I had the power, the power was in my, it was my own personal choice what I did, and do, in my life.
Back then I started learning about Ki energy, and today, they call me the world’s foremost Ki energy master. And today, I would like to share with you some important things about this Ki energy. I have noticed in my recent travels to several continents that people are so hungry for Ki energy and really want to learn and utilize it. Let’s get started then.
Everything around us is made of some kind of energy. What is the difference between true, pure energy and distorted energy? The difference I like that between music and harsh noise. True energy produces harmony and peace; distorted energy produces discord and disharmony.
But again, energy is energy whether it appears in a pure state or a distorted state. When you feel that wonderful sense of warm love, for instance, you are feeling your true energy. When you feel that discordant feeling of better hate, it is that same love energy, distorted, colored with particular beliefs and ideas that darken your natural bright love energy.
Generally speaking, true, pure energy is a “higher” vibration than the distortions of it. Warm love is a higher vibration than bitter hate. Perhaps you are familiar with the concept of entrainment. Entrainment refers to the tendency for a stronger, faster vibration to affect a nearby slower vibration. What is the effect? The faster vibration tends to bring the slower vibration “up to speed” until both vibrations are moving at the same frequency. If you are in a situation of discord, your “high frequency" love energy can “entrain” the lower distorted hate energy, causing it to come up to speed, and transform back into its original high frequency love. That’s why love heals. The energy of love in a discordant situation can transform that situation!
So again, if you use your five senses to bring you information instead of letting them rob you of peace, you can consciously choose to impact any given situation with your own “higher” energy, and bring about healing, resolution, and transformation wherever you are.
Discord is simply a distortion of true energy and can be corrected by sending out the higher, true energy. Irritability is a distortion of pure, natural serenity; selfishness is a distortion of pure, original generosity; destructive competition is a distortion of the pure energy of harmonious cooperation. You can make the choice to reflect the genuine energy states and dissolve the distorted status in the process.
What happens if you don’t do this? You simply find your energy drops to the prevailing status quo. The presence of low energy has a “draining” effect on a high energy source such as a healthy, vibrant, radiating person – unless that high energy source consciously guards against being drained. This means if you are a healthy, vibrant, radiating person and you want to stay that way, you must be aware of the aggressive low energy states around you and dissolve them! This doesn’t mean you go around like an energy policeman looking for trouble to correct. It just means you maintain a state of awareness so that you always know what’s going on around you.
It’s also important to know that energy has a “sticky” quality. If you aren’t aware of the energy states around you, you will likely pick up undesirable energy without even noticing. Have you had the experience of feeling good, then spending some time around a depressed person? Did you later experience that your cheerful mood just vanished, and that you were now feeling depressed yourself? This can’t happen if you simply make yourself consciously aware of the person’s state, and make a point of continuing to emanate your own higher energy of love and well –being.
Another way we pick up energy is through the media, which bombards us with all kinds of subliminal colors, sounds, ideas, and messages. When you are watching television, do you consciously analyze every commercial as to how color, words, music, and images are deliberately manipulating you? Probably not. Most of us just don’t give television commercials that kind of conscious attention. Even if we withhold our conscious attention, our subconscious mind still receives everything that is heard and seen. So we can pick up the energy and intent of advertisers just by being exposed to it, just by having it in our field of perception. Many of those fast food commercials are designed to make you hungry – even if you are not – and they very often succeed unless you are aware of how you are being manipulated.
Protecting yourself from picking up undesirable energy takes practice. One of my students, Beth, came from a discordant family where there was arguing, alcoholism, lying, and conflict going on almost all of the time among the two parents and three children. After moving away from the family and entering Jung Suwon training, Beth began to feel much higher energy states, even to the point of it having a curing effect on her chronic inflamed skin condition. When there was a death in the family, she had to return to that environment, and she didn’t consider her visit any kind of problem.
Right away she discovered the training had made her much more sensitive to energy states around her, and the discordant family environment was almost unbearable to her at first. But slowly, as the days passed, she found herself blending in more and more to the family scene, even participating in some of the arguments and taking a drink here and there to dull the pain. At the end of five days, she was feeling comfortably “dead,” as she put it, no longer feeling so assaulted by the environment. But her skin erupted again.
Beth had not learned enough about protecting herself to go into an environment like that without being harmed energetically. A higher energy state will drop, as it did for her, unless you consciously maintain it with awareness. If you do maintain it, then your high energy will most likely entrain the vibrational energy around you instead of dropping to a lower energetic level. Even if those low energy persons consciously resist you, you can still at least protect yourself by maintaining your high energy.
The more pure and true your energy is, the more you are protected from the harmful effects of negative, distorted energy states around you. As we’ve just discussed, however, the challenge is to maintain your high energy state even when you are “under siege.”
One way to both protect your energy and control it is through breathing. Your breath, including your breathing style and breathing patterns, is the prime mover of your Ki energy.
You may have already noticed that your breathing changes in different emotional states. When you are calm and relaxed, your breathing is slow and deep, and most likely your abdomen is expanding with your inhalation and contracting with your exhalation. If you are nervous, excited, or frightened, you take quick shallow breaths and your chest is expanding and contracting – not your abdomen. In extreme cases of fear, some people hyperventilate. In extreme cases of depression, the lack of oxygen from shallow breathing increases the sense of lethargy and dull thinking. You can be trained to use your breathing to alleviate pain, as in childbirth, and to change your emotional state.
Before talking about the most optimum way to breathe for enhanced relaxation, centeredness, peace, and poise, let’s look at stressed breathing patterns.
When you are frightened, highly stressed, or very angry, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode, an automatic response in your nervous system that increases heart rate, blood flow, and adrenaline. Your blood flow is diverted to muscles for movement, and the liver is stimulated to provide more blood sugar for quick energy. Nature understands that you don’t need your energy in the abdominal area for digesting food at this time, so the abdomen tightens. Part of the tightening is also due to your instinct to protect your essential organs in that area. As a result, in this “dangerous” situation, you cannot breathe deeply because your diaphragm, which normally moves downward with a deep breath, cannot budge against the tight abdominal muscles. So your breathing motion goes up into your chest, where you are forced to take short, rapid breaths.
All of this is an automatic response which occurs when you are in danger. The problem is, the stresses of modern life force us to live in a “fight or flight” mode much of the time. We don’t have wild animals to confront, but we do have to confront an angry boss, for instance, or aggressive and aggravating drivers on the freeway, and this is enough to create the “fight or flight” syndrome. Even though this pattern is an automatic response, we get locked into the breathing pattern on a more or less permanent basis. What happens next is that the breathing pattern itself becomes a cause for s sense of anxiety, and then the resulting anxiety goes on to reinforce the shallow breathing. In short, a vicious cycle is set up where the breathing causes the anxiety which causes the breathing, on and on…Next time you are out shopping, take a look at the people you encounter in stores, restaurants, or wherever. You will probably notice that most of them are breathing from their chest area. This is a chronic and pervasive problem in modern life.
The way out of this automatic vicious cycle is to breathe with conscious awareness, allowing the abdomen to expand and contract with each breath. This is the way nature intended the respiratory process to work under normal circumstances. Even when you are in a situation that is not normal – such as great fear or stress – you can still breathe this way to reduce anxious, frightened feelings.
There is a center two inches below your navel called the Tan Jun. In many oriental meditation traditions, the practice of breathing into this area is praised for bringing spiritual growth, warmth, and a greatly enhanced sense of peace and well-being. Clearly, these practices are based on the understanding of the power of optimum breathing.
The next time you are very stressed, frightened, anxious, or depressed, try this. Sit comfortably or lie down on your back. Put your tongue against the roof of your mouth and breathe in through your nose. Imagine that the air is light, and imagine that the light travels from your nose, down your wind pipe, into your lungs, and then keeps on going out the bottom of your lungs, pushing your diaphragm down, and then finally comes to rest in the Tan Jun. Your abdomen must expand into a rounded state to do this. Hold your breath there as long as you can without strain. Then slowly, slowly breathe out through your relaxed mouth, letting the “light” remain at that spot where you directed it. Your abdomen will naturally contract.
As you do this four or five times, you will begin to feel you’re physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies respond to this loving energy. You will calm down, you may begin to warm up, and you may begin to feel some of the bliss this energy carries naturally. Breathe this way as long as you need or want to, and make a point of keeping your breathing moving this way no matter what situation arises, no matter how stressful. This way you remain in charge of your body and in charge of making an intelligent, aware response to the situation instead of an automatic reaction.
You can also do this breathing for a certain physical problem. Let’s say you have a pain in your hip. Instead of breathing your light into your Tan Jun, breathe it into the pain. After you have done this for a while, maybe a few minutes, don’t be surprised if you suddenly experience an emotional release, followed by an alleviation of the pain. This manner of breathing is very effective at dissolving mental or emotional blocks which have solidified in your physical body.
Give it a try and see how you feel.
At this time, I would also like to remind all of us martial artists, to please be generous to the poor people in Japan, who have lost so much and are still struggling so hard just to live from one day to the next. Let us share all that God has given us, generously. Let us pray for the people of Japan, and let us follow through with action, as Martial artists are used to doing.
He Can Do, She Can Do, Why Not Me!
From my heart to yours,
Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim!
AUG. 22. 2011. TaeKwonDoTimes.