We wish it were possible to give here an image, a sense, of such a lively and generous presence of the speakers of our Conference, who framed their speeches with performances from the traditions they represent, and so we had the opportunity to see very closely the ancient drama dance event for Hellas, the sacred Indian dance for India, the forms of Tai Ji and Shaolin Kung Fu for China, and admire the sword of Japan. But also “pujllay”, the energy game of Peru. As soon as the special situation we are experiencing, due to the pandemic, allows it, we will return with the newest organization of this very interesting topic, which concerns us all.
Good evening. Thank you for being here today.
Before we welcome our speakers, who are here to share with us the wisdom of the tradition they represent, on how we can achieve Well-Being, I would like to express two questions that concern me personally.
In which “scientific” order can we put the fact “Well-Being”; on which “scientific” term can such a discussion stand? This reflection would lead our discussion to being either a literary conference or a presentation of experiences. In the first case, the recorded knowledge would lead to a quote of information. Information is the raw material for knowledge, of course. In the second case, the presentation of practical experience, from the native tradition of the people we host, would lead to reflection and adoption of practices. Both frames are correct, so we tried to combine both of them tonight. In simple terms, if the issue was eg “How should we walk properly”, it is good to have the knowledge on the human body, but it is also good to get up and walk ourselves. So I hope this today’s meeting will answer to each one of us, in both ways. To first broaden our field of information, but also to give us practical answers and solutions for our lives.
The second question I would like to ask is this: How is it possible for someone to have two fathers? Alexander the Great, whom I will give as an example, had named two. As he mentioned, Philip was the one who offered him the “being“, and Aristotle was the one who offered him “the well-being“. One was, in other words, the father of his physical being – and the other was the father of his mindstream and behavior.
Therefore, it is so important for us to approach the Well-Being in our lives that the one who will lead us there, is like a father to us. It seems that “to be” and “to live” are two different concepts. That is why I am pleased to open this series of presentations, and I really think that the presence of our speakers is very important.
Each one of them will present a distillation of the national tradition they represent, leading us to think about what it means “to live”.
And through their presence, tonight, here, at Thymeli Theater of Elli Vozikiadou, which hosts us, we will create a bridge walking to Europe, Asia and South America, in order to acknowledge whether the basic needs of the humans are really different, or not.
I would like to invite Juan Nunez del Prado on Stage, to open today’s conference. It is our honor that the Anthropologist, Archaeologist and Academic Teacher from Peru is in Athens, these days. Juan Nunez del Prado and Ivan Nunez del Prado, teachers both of the Andean wisdom, are here in Hellas, to share practices from Peru and the Andean areas, with a number of people at a major seminar in Athens, Central Hellas and the Peloponnese.
Tonight, he will talk to us about the tradition he represents; about the important message of Well-Being, as it travels from South America.
JUAN NUÑEZ DEL PRADO
Part A. Levels of Consciousness of universal validity in the Andean, Western and Hellenic Traditions
As part of the “Encounter of Cultures” organized in Lima by the “Institute of Traditional Studies”, between August 11 and 17, 1985, Dr. Huston Smith, gave us a lecture , about the then most recent of his discoveries; to which he title “Types of Spiritual Personalities”: “An Ontological Perspective”.
( The content of this lecture was subsequently published in a slightly different way, such as “Spiritual Personality, Types” Chapter 15. P. 234 – 254. “Why religion matters”, by Huston Smith, Harper Collins Publishers Inc. San Francisco, 2000)
According to Smith, in any community which is large enough, you will find four types of spiritual personality: Persons for whom the existence of God is irrelevant. Materialistic. People for who, there are many gods. Polytheistic. People for who , there is only one God, The monotheist . and People for who, the only thing that exists is God. The mystic.
According to Smith, the differences between types of religious personalities, are much more important than theological or institutional differences between religions. This is so because, the differences of types, seem to come from the human nature and, therefore, are general and permanent, whereas the differences between religions , come only from specific historical processes and, therefore are much more variable and relative.
The most important difference, among people belonging to different types of religious personalities, is “the size of the world”, in which each of them lives. According to Smith, one could represent the four types of religious personalities, as a system, of four concentric circles; with the circle of the materialist in the center and the circle of the mystic in the periphery.
This perception is very important in the real world, since the dimension of the subjective world, in which the actor develops, correlates with the dimension of the social group, with which the individual can develop solidarity or engage.
The materialist can develop solidarity and commitment, only with a small group: Family, lineage, locality, religious sect, spiritual or professional school , club. etc.
The polytheist can develop; solidarity and commitment with an intermediate group: Province, Small region. A profession as a whole. Or one of the religious confessions , in which they are divided, the great religious traditions.
The monotheist can develop solidarity and commitment: with a large group such as : Nation, Empire, Super Nation, A great community of faith, such as: Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism or Buddhism, etc. Large ideological groups such as ; liberalism or communism. Science as a whole. etc.
The mystic can develop solidarity and commitment: With the totality of humanity, without any kind of distinction.
Something very important is that Smith’s typology was the result of a long observation of an empirical reality, which practically covers the whole spectrum of human cultural traditions.
At the end of the conference, I was fascinated by the general image he presented and I could see that it was directly related, to the protocol of personal development that Andean mysticism proposed, and that I I had known since 1979.
That is to say, with the description of the basic hierarchical levels, of the career of the Paqos, considered by Don Benito Qoriwaman, as accessible at present and, therefore susceptible of empirical verification.
According to Don Benito, the successive levels of development of the Paqo are: Ayllu Paqo , teacher of family or community. Llaqta Paqo , teacher of a “community of communities”, or small region. Suyu Paqo , teacher of a Nation . Teqse Paqo , universal teacher.
The types of spiritual personality of Huston Smith are: Materialist. Committed to small group. Polytheist, committed to an intermediate group. Monotheistic, committed to a large group. Mystic. committed to all humanity.
As we can see, both systems classify human beings, in scales of 4 levels. In both systems, people, who occupy each of the levels of the scale, are respectively related, with four social dimensions, successive, corresponding and growing. So far, we can say, only that both systems are corresponding.
However, originally the system of Don Benito, refers to a single religious tradition, the Andean tradition. In addition, Don Benito, presents his system, as levels of a professional career in Paqo. A progressive training system that develops over time. That is, the presentation has a procedural or diachronic perspective.
Huston Smith, presents the system of religious personalities, as a set of ontological factors, which are presented simultaneously, in each and every one of the systems of historical religions. That is, the presentation has a structural or synchronic perspective.
Then, in addition to being corresponding, the systems are complementary. If we allow one system to inform the other, we can say: The four basic hierarchical levels of the Andean system correspond to four types of human personality. And, consequently. The four types of religious personality, identified by Huston Smith, constitute a progressive scale of personality development.
On the other hand, and as a third term of comparison , the Hellenic history, records through time, the emergence of a sequence of notable human types, in which gradually accumulate, certain characteristics: The hero , such as Achilles, Ulysses or Perseus ; that executes feats, through which it expresses; Integrity, courage and loyalty. The poet like; Homer, Sophocles, Pindar, Hesiod or Aesop, who sing the Poiesis (creation), with beauty; creating Poetry, through which they express, Integrity, courage, loyalty and also aesthetics. The Philosopher (Philos-To like- Sophos- argumentation; – Argumentator) like Heraklitus, Pythagoras, Socrates or Plato, who produce a philosophy; rational and elegant speech, which expresses, Integrity, courage, loyalty, aesthetics and internal coherence or precision , which is achieved by using logic and / or Mathematics. The scientist, such as: Aristotle, Archimedes, Eratosthenes, Feron, Aristarchus of Samos or Hypatia of Alexandria, who produce a Theory (follow-up of the divine), speech about the Poiesis, which expresses Integrity, courage, loyalty, aesthetics; accuracy; internal coherence such as philosophy and that, moreover, should have truth, understood this, as the correspondence between the description and the facts, that is, should keep, correspondence with the empíreos, understood as the factic behavior of nature. In scientific practice , the so-called hypothesis is a rational discourse, which corresponds , in its characteristics, to the level of philosophy. However, unlike the philosopher, the scientist not considered the hypothesis conclusive and if it is not consistent with the empirical facts, the hypothesis is discarded and not the facts.
The requirement of truthfulness came from the reverence for the empirical behaviors of nature, which, according to this point of view, were governed by the Universal Logos, (Metaphysical Divinity revealed to Heraclitus of Ephesus ) and therefore were sacred. sciense based on observation and e xperimentación, allowing save “fidelity to empirical behavior of Poiesis”; understood this, as the correspondence between the description and the facts. Maintaining this correspondence requires, in addition to a new value, humility; that makes it possible to discard the coherent discourse itself, if the facts contradict it.
If we consider the Hellenic system , as the third term of the comparison , we can also establish a progressive typology of cognitive abilities , which completes the picture of human consciousness development.
To appreciate the historical social effects , of the development of the human personalities, we can use, the model case of Alexander The Great .
Alexander was born on July 20 or 21 of 356 a. C. Hass as his tutor Aristotle, first representative of the fourth and highest type of personality that we have described, the scientist. Alexander display a very fast and brilliant political career because it was done, King of Macedonia (336 BC to 323 BC); Egemon of Greece (336 BC to 323 BC) Great King of Media and Persia (330 BC to 323 BC) Pharaoh of Egypt (332 BC to 323 BC) ) until his death occurred on June 10 or 13 of 323 a. C. (32 years old)
Through that race, Alejandro unchained; “Hellenism”, one of the most important periods of human development, that Hellenistic culture spread throughout the Middle East, reaching India and Europe.
The 4 personality types that we mentioned, were reproduced simultaneously from the time of Alexander, until 320 AD. in what happened the murder of Hypatia, the first scientist in the history of humanity and the simultaneous destruction of the Alexandria Museum .
The human type of the scientist, would disappear from history for about 1,000 years leading to a cultural regression and a dark age, until the times of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo , which mark the beginning of the global expansion of a new civilization, the Western one.
The characters that we have invited to the dialogue, on the basis of an equivalent qualitative knowledge are: Don Benito Qoriwaman; An analfabet member of an Andean community of Peru, whose knowledge comes from his training as a professional Paqo. Huston Smith, a member of the cultural elite of North America, who, -as it is said of Huston Smith, on the back cover of the book Why Religion Matters ? in Spanish – It is considered as a world authority ; in the history of religions and in the philosophy of comparative religions. He has been a professor at the universities of Washington, Syracuse and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley. Alexander the Great, an emblematic figure in European history, whose meteoric race we sketched briefly.
II. Part B. The traditional approach of Well-being, through the ritual and therapeutical practices
The general context of the Andean tradition is given by the notion of KAUSAY PACHA, which can be understood as living cosmos, PACHA is space-time, KAUSAY The living energy; This factor has been discovered by different traditions that have given it different names, CHI in China, Ki of the Korean-Japanese civilization, the Prana of India, The Force of the Holy Spirit in Western culture, more or less recently identified by the science as LIBIDO or life energy.
In that context, health is not only normal but also expected
QALI. THE NORMAL IS HEALTH
ONQOY. DISCONNECTION OF THE NORMAL COURSE OF LIFE, DISEASE OR EXTASIS, which are two extreme forms of the relationship with Kausay, in one case it is a disconnection and in the other case a connection too intense. In this context the most serious condition would be
PHACHA HAPISQA. In that as a result of physical or psychological trauma; Some of its energy is separated from its POQPO or energy field and takes refuge in the surrounding cosmos.
WELCOME WAQLLAY. RECOVER THE MOOD.
The earth has collected the energy and it has remained in place; then the healing Paqo collects the energy and recovers it from where it had been, he brings it to himself and finally blows it up and returns it to his patient
PICHAY It is a healing way that is about taking a person from the JUCHA or heavy energy that is the one that does not allow him to relate or connect with reality, so that this separation is closed and the normal flow of energy is therefore restored and therefore health
HOQARY Raise KALLPACHI strengthen the patient’s energy.
A person trained in the mystical practices of the Andean tradition has knowledge of exercises for the maintenance of their own health and development, such as.
SAMINCHAKUY. It is the creation of a downward flow of energy through one’s body and energy field, with the help of which one can let go or clean the energy blockages that one may have in oneself.
SAYWACHAKUY. It is the creation of an upward flow of fine energy that comes from the earth and flows through one’s body and energy field, giving the person vital force to act.
(performance of the practices)
IVAN NUNEZ DEL PRADO
AYNI. The principle of sacred reciprocity
Ayni is the act of sacred reciprocity, it is about giving and receiving and it is for us the most important rule and it will touch all aspects of life.
AS A PRINCIPLE it is the way of understanding all the facts of our life and our reality, in this way.
You can understand how the universe is made through Ayni. From this point of view.
The HANAQ PACHA (the sky) is the part of reality that has the highest quality of energy, since all the beings that live in heaven live in perfect reciprocity, that is, they give with generosity and detachment and receive with humility and opening.
THE KAY PACHA (this world). As we already know in the space of human life the exchange is imperfect since sometimes we give and give generously sometimes we decide not to do it and have things for ourselves, in the same way we sometimes receive but sometimes we reject what the life or other people offer us, therefore the life of this world is a mixture of energy in motion and static or stagnant energy, which makes the experience of our life a mixed experience in which we sometimes feel well but sometimes not.
THE UJU PACHA (inner or lower world) it is a space in which the Ayni is not known and practiced, therefore the energy in that part of reality becomes heavy, without being a place of punishment or hell the Uju Pacha is a part of reality that we find heavy as an experience.
Everything that happens in your life can be seen as an exchange since it is about giving and receiving and that relationship between people is the cohesive factor of human life and the basis of our society.
AS A VALUE. Aynillan Kausaypas, Life in itself is AYNI (reciprocity), all the facts of our life can be understood as reciprocity, at the most intimate level we give love and receive love to our children, our family and friends; we have a relationship of reciprocity with our churches and those who conform them; we exchange goods and services with our neighbors and fellow citizens; we have exchanges between countries and blocks of nations.
ALLINKAUSAY. The good life. The quality of our life is defined by the intensity of the Ayni reciprocity around us, being able to build a good and satisfying life depends on our ability to perform the Ayni with every person we have around us; how much we are able to cultivate and maintain our relationships, how much we are able to DO AYNI.
AS A COMMANDMENT Ayninakuchis. Every time God Our Father Taytanchis manifests on earth, as a kind father who cares for his children and gives them advice to build a good life Allinkausay always says “AYNINAKUYCHIS” Practice the Ayni. What makes the Ayni the ONLY COMMANDMENT in the Andean culture, which makes Ayni a universal value that shapes the way of life of all those who are born and live within this millenary tradition.
AYNI IS GIVING. One has to learn to give in the right way, the art of giving is based on the ability to give with generosity and detachment; one can only give what he has to give for real, one should not offer what he does not have that would be a lie. Commonly it is said “true love is giving without expecting anything in return”
AYNI IS RECEIVING. One has to learn to receive correctly, the art of receiving is based on the ability to receive with humility and openness; recognizing that one is missing something creates space in one to contain it, it is commonly said: “you cannot pour water into a glass that is already full”
THE ART OF THE PRACTICE OF AYNI IS THE ART OF GIVING AND RECEIVING.
For us Paqos Andinos. Ayni is present in everything to the point that we see the Ayni as a Law of nature, as a property of everything that exists, which can be trusted without any doubt and we understand the best way to go through life in consciousness and without stumbling is to live in Ayni and cultivate the Ayni.
AYNI IS A PRINCIPLE THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING.
AYNI IS A COMMANDMENT AND THROUGH A MORAL RULE.
AYNI WELL INTEGRATED CAN HELP US BUILD AN IMPECCABLE LIFE ETHICS.
The principles of Well-being in the Ancient Greek Thought
The human is the only living being on planet Earth who is fully aware of the contradiction of his nature. The contradiction between life and death disturbs the human consciousness, driving either to metaphysical beliefs or to hope for the discovery of the “elixir of youth”. This agony appears from the very first steps of the human civilization, and it is based on the quest for a balanced relationship between the body and the soul, and hence the search for the well-being. There have been many and divergent approaches to well-being. It would be interesting to have a comparative view of the content that gives an ideological system to the concept. It is natural, in ancient China, for example, where monarchy, discipline and obedience are established, for well-being to have a completely different meaning, from that in ancient Greece where the values that dominate are freedom, democracy and humanism. The values, therefore, of a social system are reflected in the way of life and thought of each society, and on how each one understands the well-being.
Even within the spectrum of the same culture, there may be a difference in the meaning of well-being. In ancient Greek culture, in this case, there is a different meaning given in the Homeric society, for example, than in the classical period. A different meaning in the democratic Athens, than in the oligarchic Sparta. The general meaning, however, that ancient Greece has given to well-being is spiritual and ideological, and this is impregnated with social, political and religious characteristics.
But, what exactly does well-being mean? (anc.Gr. Efzoia = ef-zeo = kalozoia = kali zoi = well-being)
The ancient adverb “ef” (ευ), means good, right, favorable, appropriate. Although it is a monosyllab word, it forces a subversive interference with the word that precedes it, giving it moral characteristics. Its addition, for example, to the noun δαίμων (daimon), composes the word which, according to Aristotle, is the highest purpose of life, that is, the ef-daimon (ευδαίμονα), the blessedness. Adding “ef” to luck, transformes it into happiness (ευ-τυχία), adding it to life, transforms it into well-being (ευζωΐα). Even a simple sound with “ef” (εὖ) becomes ευ-ηχος, sounds pleasant, or a simple word (logos) becomes a blessing (ευ-λογία), and from that moment on, it exceeds mediocrity.
The “εὖ”, therefore, sets the limits of morality, but also constitutes the limit of overcoming mediocrity. The words and the verbs that have the “εὖ” as the first composer (such as ευψυχία / bravery, spiritedness | ευφυία / intelligence | ευγονία / eugenics | ευθανασία / euthanasia | ευσέβεια / piousness | ευλάβεια / devoutness | ευμάρεια / prosperity | ευσπλαγχνία / compassion | ευεργεσία / benevolence – ευγένεια / kindness, nobility | ευσυνειδησία / conscientiousness | εὖ οἷδα / well knowing, εὖ γιγνώσκειν / well-taught | εὖ ἁμιλλᾶσθαι / well-emulation – εὖ ασκεῖσθαι / well-practicing, fair play) declare a physical and mental virtue, that is the value of well-being. The “ef zin” (εὖ ζῆν / living well) confirms the belief that man at all times must experience the moral and spiritual concepts, so that by conquering the individual qualitative victory he establishes the feat of life.
“Ef zin” (living well), together with the ευ-αγωνίζεσθαι / fair play, that is to say the virtuous struggle in every aspect of life, was a holistic experience of the Greeks in all aspects of their cultural activity.
Especially during the classical period, the sense of the value of “εὖ” reaches its peak.
Socrates first introduces interest from the matter into the microcosm of human. The Homeric excellence is humanized, taking a more humanistic dimension, which is akin to the ideal of the perfect man. Harmonizing human affections through exercise and music, serves the idea of the “good citizen” expressed by Plato, the man of the middleness expressed by Aristotle, as well as the idea of well-being.
During the classical period, well-being is strengthened by social values operating in parallel, such as religion and education, the building of ordinances, the truce, the value of the oath and the pedagogical punishment of the offender.
The well-being is the result of religious, contest, and political education, as it reflects the quality of social values.
In general, it constitutes the foundation upon which the structure of the ancient Greek humanistic philosophy was built, without which it would have been impossible to preserve this thought historically for at least three thousand years
Living in an “ef” (εὖ ) way of life often recommends preserving the quality of life, that is, the ability of the deeper consciousness of man, of his mind, and his soul.
However, to have a decent life throughout his whole lifetime, by acting the right and moral way, according to the ancient Greek society, is not something that applies only to the individual but to the collective also.
The person does not belong to himself, but to the city that nurtured and educated him. Well-being, therefore, is identified with the need to be a good citizen, taking care of his posthumous fame during his lifetime, being interested in the others and the common values, the common interest.
In this way, through “ef” and “kalos” ( εὖ / καλῶς), the whole ethical philosophy of the ancient Greek spirit is expressed.
The righteous struggle, the temperance, the principles that lead to the conquest of the well-being, have been functioning over time as an element of moral education, rightly forming the core of the humanitarian ideals.
The achievement of well-being, according to the Stoic philosophers, presupposes that man puts himself in harmony with the universe, which gives him its qualities.
The value of living in harmony with nature is a prerequisite for securing well-being, as human nature is part of the world’s nature.
When e.g. one hurts the other under the motivation of his or her own interest, in fact he is hurting his own nature. Ευδαίμων βίος (the well-guided life) is a life under temperance, which, beyond excesses and shortcomings, ensures the path to the realization of human goals. Life flows harmoniously when one is able to associate his fate with the continuity of the facts of a totality, of which he is an indissoluble molecule.
Well-being essentially constitutes the result of an art of life. This art gives to the human, the ability to be free to obey his inner logos (word), acquiring an ethical independence. Austere life, lacklusterness and indifference to wealth, physical strength and glory reinforce independence from every thing that does not affect his moral quality.
With the power of reason, man recognizes himself as part of the universe, he works for this whole, considering it as a natural destination to live for one another.
The one who has the ability to achieve this goal is the wise man who, because of his knowledge, is self-sufficient, free, and not afraid.
The necessary condition for the human to achieve well-being, is virtue; and this belief is common in both the Socratic, Platonic and Aristotelian thought.
Moral life is not, however, the result of only an inherent harmony.
Particularly today, the “material man” has largely distanced himself from his physical tendency for virtue. It takes a painstaking effort to control the negative side and the -perhaps alienated- human consciousness.
Social inequality, injustice, blind pursuit of profit, ecological disaster caused by humanity itself, and especially the wars, make it necessary for an active participation of the consciousness of the man to the solution of these problems.
The ancient Greek culture, was a spiritual one. Today, a material culture dominates, which has greatly eroded human consciousnesses. All are measured and calculated on the basis of quantitative criteria. There is a persistence of individualism, the hunting of wealth, vanity, personal interest.
Thus, the character of well-being has been directed mainly towards a material, shallow, mainly physical orientation, for a comfortable and luxurious life, lack of financial difficulties, worldliness and life-style.
In other cases, well-being, which as a term is nowadays very fashionable, has acquired a specialized content, dominated by the Mediterranean diet (Mediterranean Wellness), healthy eating, physical activity, exercises to enhance heart, stress management, body weight, good sleep, etc.
Others present it as a mixture of euphoria (“Holistic Welfare”).
There is no doubt that the management of all the above problems has its worth.
However, the factors upon which the well-being depends, are far more essential.
In addition to wealth and success, ef-zin (εὖ ζῆν) is linked to today -or rather identified- with the dealing with old age and longevity.
The ephemeral dream of preserving youth with plastic surgery, botox, laser, medicine, preserves a global technology and a large number of scientists and alchemists.
Is this, however, the well-being? Is it a refusal to accept the divine nature of human nature?
Can anything change this mentality, and bring the man close to nature and to his-nature?
And what is that?
“This is true knowledge,” the Stoic philosophers declare.
Only wisdom can lead man to spiritual maturation. Nowadays, everyone gives to well-being his own, individual meaning.
But no one can be happy if others around him are unhappy.
Therefore, without dealing with the problems of the social community to which we belong, without finding solution to the problems of life, of the environment and the planet, it is difficult, if not futile, to search for well-being. Closing our eyes as if the political, social and economic environment is not our concern, is not a solution. A solution for the man, according to Plato and Aristotle, is education, the humanitarian education that teaches the man to have an active consciousness, to take responsibility not only for himself but also for others. According to Aristotle, the city (πόλις) is the place where the necessary educational processes can be carried out in order to realize the political nature of human. That is why the political community is, ultimately, the first condition for man to achieve bliss
The power of εὖ ζῆν (ef zin, well-being) therefore, also depends on other principles which man must also recognize:
Equality, justice, meritocracy, democracy, and the constant effort to keep life safe from extreme competition, vulgar euphemism, inequality, selfishness, dogmatism, and by the non-free, ie directed, consciousnesses.
It is therefore possible through the city, and through education to enhance the awakening of shared responsibility and the utilization of the morality of modern man to complete the conscious journey towards the Ego, to the world and to the universe.
Towards a universe where everything is interlinked; where man is a fragment of the whole.
Only then Well-Being will be an essential motive for the completion of existence, and its idea will be able to act as a means of lifting the mankind.
The Daoist Tradition of China
Transmit the culture of Taiji, promote the health of the People
Day and night share respect.
You can only hope on receiving prosperity, longevity, well-being and peace.
Explanation of the concepts: Yin, Yang and Dao
What is separated has to return to unity;
separated into 10,000 pieces and then unified again in a whole. What lies between the sky and the earth, has a source.
Through one source, many different facts occur; and all belong to this source.
The study of Taiji boxing is nothing more than this Principle
(“Ten Main Points of Taijiquan Theory”, Chen Changxing)
Taiji is born from Wuji. Taiji is the mother of Yin-Yang
(Dr Yang Jun Min)
Everything contains the “seed” of its opposite, the dynamic of alteration. The two poles (Taiji) are governed by relativity. The universe is made of Energy, Vibrations and Matter (the Energy vibrates the matter).
The growth of the wheat is Yang, the harvest is Yin.
The peak of the waves of the sea is Yang, the base is Yin.
The sunny side of a place is Yang, the shadowy is Yin.
The throwing of the ball is Yang, the catching is Yin.
The starting is Yang, the completion is Yin.
The vase is Yang, the containing is Yin.
The heat of the coffee is Yang, its colour is Yin.
The water flowing through a river bed is Yin, the water falling in a waterfall is Yang.
The rear part of the body is more Yang than the front, the upper part of the body is also Yang
(TED Edu, John Bellaimey)
The watching and the knowledge of the interaction and transformation between Yin and Yang, is the watching and knowledge of the power of Dao.
The harmonization with the Dao, means that I do not have to fight the natural flow of universe.
Following this, I live well.
The prefix “ευ” (ef) in the hellenic language, refer the to meaning of “good”, but also declares that the subject can accept easily the energy implied from the prototype word – in this specific case, the energy of Life itself on our personal path.
That means, life that can “accept” (the Dao).
Sky includes the eight elements and their two ordinances (the congenital and the acquirable; the one before and the one after the birth), where, one can see with difficulty that the one is an integral part of the other (Chen Xin).
Among the facts the sky includes, there are the concepts
(a) of virtue (b) of awareness through clarity, c) of ordinance and d) of chance (of the facts that is not possible to be foreseen.
These are depicted through the idea of the the binomial of the different strata (greatness and minimality, increase and decrease) of Gong Fu as the system of cultivation of internal energy. All these facts is necessary to be combined into one force, through which the practitioner can acquire skills of high efficiency.
Knowledge is born of spirit, spirit is expressed through words, and wisdom expresses the mind (understanding the minor through greatness).
The Four Characteristics exist as a result of the virtues derived from the intercourse between Heaven and Earth, the brilliance of the sun and moon, from the sequence of the four seasons and -finally- as a result of the good fortune and the dangers arising from the interaction of the good deities and the bad spirits.
So, by cultivating the virtues, focused on the Path, the noble man, receives his place on the heights, but he is never arrogant.
By following Dao, his words are encouraging.
Whenever there is absent of Dao, its silent is enough to fill the void. This is Well-Being. (I-Ching, The Book of Changes)
The Five Virtues which are cultivated through Taiji, according to Confucius:
Faithfulness or Truthness (central position, element of earth, spleen) –
Rightness or Decency (south, fire, heart) –
Kindness or Charity (east, wood, liver) –
Legality or Justice (west, metal, lungs) –
Wisdom (north, water, kidneys).
When the practitioner is emancipated according to these, honestly and unpretentious, he is rewarded with Well-Being.
The smooth flow of energy requires physical relaxation
the law of Ohm I = V / R
where R : body (身),
V: Mind (意),
I: vital energy (氣).
Relaxation of the body requires an empty mind.
Practicing immobility leads to this result creating the root. When I manage to relax the body I achieve Wu Ji. Then is created the condition to separate Yin from Yang and to begin their interaction within the movements.
The order in their interaction and the corresponding energy process is achieved through the practice of “reeling the silk” (form of a movement).
In Qi Gung, the state of mind for an effective practice is interwoven with the “inner smile”; that is with the feeling of gratitude and happiness. The move contributes to reach such a situation, but at the same time it requires it, in order to be able to act deeper. Then we achieve well-being through physical exercise
Only one verse from the classic text of the Virtue of Dao (道德 經) can gives us reasons to be grateful and happy.
Better to stop short than fill to the brim.
Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt.
Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it.
Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow.
Retire when the work is done.This is the way of Heaven.
Listen more, argue less.
Prepare to retreat or to untangle
something and your progress will be faster.
Do not care if you are the best;
be only who you are.
The wise is “elastic and flexible”.
Just live, simply;
complexities drive you away from the Path (Dao).
Learn how to live without
being departed from the path.
Ancient roots of well-being in ancient sacred theatre in India and Greece
The classical Indian dance Bharata Natyam and the ancient Greek art of the Muses
Good evening. I feel very honoured to be among you tonight.
I will share with you part of the long research I have done on the art of ancient civilizations, travelling all over the world and especially in India, where I’ve lived for years and where I continue visiting regularly to this day.
The concept of a good life, in harmony with oneself and with the environment, in traditional Indian thought is connected with the acceptance of the whole cycle of being, which includes both life on earth and life after death, in etheric spaces called “lokas”. The cycle of life, according to the Vedas and to yogic theory, is connected with the need for personal knowledge and realisation.
The Earth, and our being born here, is considered a period of learning, within the evolutionary cycle of the greater life which passes from birth to death and from death to birth, again and again. Every person is incarnated carrying inside memories and tendencies.
These experiences of past lives are called “samskaras” and constitute a substratum of our soul. Samskaras cause psychosomatic tension. They also create a conditioning of thought and action which limits the consciousness and the capacity of understanding in the mental dimension, leading to an unconscious repetition of past thoughts and actions.
This is karma, what in ancient Greek was called “πεπρωμένον”: that which has been created by words, thoughts and actions.
Realizing this repetition, deepening our thoughts, reaching a maturity of our personality and spiritual contemplation, all lead to the realization of who we are, beyond the tridimensionality of everyday experience, towards deeper spiritual and subtle spheres.
Philosophical schools of thought, exercise and contemplation such as Raja Yoga, Samkya, Vedanta and so on, have been created in order to lead mankind to this kind of realization.
Apart from those, however, there was another way. Art has always played a part in awakening the soul, both for the artist and for the audience. Performing arts had always played an educational role: bringing culture to the ignorant, bringing enlightenment to the cultivated and bringing entertainment to the wise.
The role of art in physical and mental health, for promoting well-being and spiritual awakening, is a concept with deep roots in many ancient civilizations.
Today I chose to speak not about the path of yoga, but about the ancient sacred art of dance and theatre, as evolved in Greece and India, shedding light to some aspects often unknown to modern Western people.
The ancient Greek art of “Orchestic” and the ancient Indian dance-theatre, “Natya”
Music, poetry and dance were all parts of the art which ancient Greeks called “Musike”, that is “art of the muses”. Orchestic, the art of dancing, consisted in melike (music), lyrike (poetry) and chorike (dance). The concept of “Musike” is extremely close, almost identical with the Sanskrit “Natya”.
Aristoteles, in his “Poetics”, argues that orchestic (dance) comes from the ancient “dromena”, and that dance is the root of theatre.
Ancient Greeks and Indians enjoyed and revered dance in very similar ways.
For both, dance, associated to religious mysteries, had great therapeutic and cathartic qualities, for both artist and audience.
In ancient Greece, theatre was the means to propagate the word of Dionysos.
Diodorus stresses the link of Dionysus with theatre and considers theatre artists dionysiac priests.
Dance in ancient Greece – the art of the Muses
Plato considers dance an evolution of the “mimesis” of words through gestures, what was called “heironomia”.
The Muses had their part in the development of dance. Erato danced with her feet and her face, while Polymnia expressed everything with her hands, speaking through gestures.
In ancient Greece, education gave a great importance to dance. Greeks not only revered their gods through dance, but they fought while dancing and they incorporated dance in all their life activities, from birth to death.
Socrates, who practiced Memphis dance himself, said: “dance contributes to the making of a complete citizen. Those who best honour the gods through dance, are also the best in the battle. Dance gives the body its just proportions.”
“Deiksis,” means to show, to suggest in English. It denotes an elaborate code of symbolic gestures of the hands, called “cheironomiae’’. It means “the rules of the hands’’, very similar to the Indian symbolic code of the hand gestures called hastas or mudras.
Unfortunately, the Greek art of the muses was lost, while the Indian art is still alive, keeping the link with art’s ancient wisdom and double nature, as healing method and as a means for personal evolution and a tool for achieving a good life.
Dance in India – Natyam
In ancient India, dance, music and theatre were three facets of the same art, “natyam”. Bharata Natyam is an ancient theatrical dance which flourished in the South of India, mainly in the Tamil Nadu region. “Natyam” means art and “bharata” means “man”. Its meaning then is “the art of mankind”.
For two thousand years, it was danced in temples by priestesses called “devadasis” and only since the first decades of the 20th century this art is being presented on the stage.
It combines rhythm and dance dynamics with melody and with the poetic language of gestures and face expressions.
Literally meaning “essence” or “taste”, it is the aesthetic flavor of any artistic work that evokes an emotion of feeling in the audience.
This evocation of a feeling and the communication established between the artist and the audience, create an aesthetic experience of enjoyment, called “rasa”, a spiritual nourishment which is the goal of this art.
The art of expressing the feelings of a poetic text, in Indian performing art is called “abhinaya”. It uses face expressions and the language of hands.
In the same way, in ancient Greek “orchestic”, the dancer interpreted various characters and expressed feelings, the goal being catharsis, and the deeper understanding of the self.
I will now present the nine basic emotions, as codified in the ancient dance manuals, called “Nava Rasas”. Based on these, one can express all the fine nuances of psychological conditions.
sringara love (love for a partner, love for children or animals, love of the divine)
vira(m) courage, heroism
raudra(m) anger, fury
shanta peace or tranquility – this is not properly an emotion or a feeling, but rather the absence of emotions.
The hand language in Abhinaya
The hand language is a codified alphabet using hands and fingers, which has 52 different gestures.
The beautiful hand movements in the purely dancing pieces have no meaning, they are just an aesthetic addition to the dance. In the narrative pieces, however, the movements are meaningful, they are the equivalent of words. Thus, with this dance, we can tell stories, using hand language. And, as in all languages there are vowels and consonants, here there are 28 movements of one hand, 24 movements of both hands and countless combinations.
Expression and gestures in Ancient Greece
For the ancient Greeks, this non-verbal code of communication was of great therapeutic and psychological importance.
Many Greek writers have described vividly the “silent language” of hand gestures:
«[…] δάχτυλα φωνήν έχοντα», “[…] Fingers with voice”,
«[…] πολύτροπα δάχτυλα πάλλων», “[…] Vibrating fingers”,
«[…] σκιρτήματα χειρών.» “[…] Joyfully stirring hands.”
Lesvonax, the famous 1st century orator and writer from the island of Mytilene, used to call artists “cherosofous” (“wise-handed”), because they possessed a wisdom which could only be communicated through the hands:
«[…]Ακούω άνθρωπε α ποιείς, ουχ ορώ μόνον,
αλλά μοι δοκοίς ταις χερσίν αυτές λαλείν».
“[…] I can listen, man, to what you are doing;
Not only can I see it but it seems to me that
you are speaking through your hands.”
They thought that the wisdom of hands was so powerful that the audience became better after having witnessed a performance.
Orchesis was a visual science which revealed the un-seen. Ploutarch wrote that «δείξις» (deixis, hand gesture) shouldn’t be mimetic, trying to copy reality, but to express its true nature: «δηλωτική αληθώς των υποκειμένων».
Let’s see now the gestures of one hand, in Sanskrit, as they are passed on from teacher to student until today. And it would be interesting if you tried to make these gestures as well, and repeat with me:
Pataka, stripatako, ardhapataka, karterimukaha
mayurakyo, ardhachandrashtra, arala, shukatundakaha
mushtishcha, shikarakyaschcha, kapita, katakamukaha
suchi, chandrakala, padmakosha, sharpashirastata
mirgashisrxha, simhamukaha, kangulashcha, alapadmakaha
chaturo, brahmarashchaiva, hamsassio, hamsapakshakaha
sandamsho, mukulashchaiva,tamrachudra, trishulakaha
Let’s see now some combinations of hastas together with the expression of feelings.
With tripataka we can show a tree trunk. Branches. Fire. A dove.
With alapadma we can show a lotus flower. The face. Speech. The full moon.
With the combination of brahmari and alapadma, a bee drinking the nectar from a flower.
With the combination of shikara, katakamuka, simhamukaha, hamsassio we show the deer wounded by the hunter and dying.
Dance item, “Bajan”, on Rama
Now I will perform a dance piece.
It is devotional, full of feeling, in honour of the demi-god Rama, who symbolizes maturity of the soul, honesty, gentleness and right thought. It makes reference to two myths, according to which the touch of Rama’s foot caused changes, a transformation. This implies the possibility of spiritual transformation and freedom from the shackles of matter.
The first story is about the creation of the Ganges river.
Once, Bali, king of daemons, saw a dwarf approaching him. “What do you want?”, he asked. “Nothing much, my king. Only 3 feet of land”. “You can have them”, said the king. And to seal the deal, as was customary, he washed his feet. And then the miracle happened. From the foot of the dwarf, who was none other than Rama, water started flowing, becoming a strong river which threatened the earth. Then Shiva stopped the river in his matted hair, and from the drops which fell on the earth the river Ganges was created.
The second story is about the need for discernment and also about the possibility of internal transformation.
There was a sage who had acquired great magical powers, Gautama. His wife was beautiful Ahalya. Once, Indra, king of the gods, saw Ahalya and was bewitched by her beauty. In order to make her accept him, he took her husband’s form. When night fell, Gautama came back home. Seeing his wife in Indra’s embrace, he became furious: he uttered a curse which turned the woman into a stone. Many years passed. One day, as Rama was walking in the wood, he stumbled upon the stone. The touch of his foot performed a miracle, turning Ahalya back into a human being.
Epilogue – The necessity for sacred art in society
I will finish tonight’s speech with some thoughts regarding the necessity of sacred art in society. Is there a place for sacred art in today’s society? I think the answer is yes. I believe that today it is more needed than ever.
In our days, together with the phenomenon of globalization, we are witnessing the distortion and the degradation of cultural and moral values, as well as the propagation of meaningless and valueless information by the mass media and by the theatrical stages.
The mirror of our globalized times reflects our lack of integrity and identity as human beings and as citizens of a country with such a rich cultural heritage.
Today the role of Natya, art, as a tool to educate and elevate the public leading it to spiritual upliftment is endangered. The great theatre teacher Constantin Stanislavski (1863-1938) wrote that “the theatre has the power to placate or corrupt the public”.
As an artist and as a human being, I feel the urgent need to preserve the important fountainheads of humankind. As an answer to the devastating current of raw materialism, the arts of dance and theatre should turn again to their original goal and function, and become again agents of culture with meaning and substance.
Theatre and dance should remember and realize once more their healing power.
They should play once again their original, ancient role, bringing the audience up and away from the unimportant in the oecumenical and spiritual dimension, thus leading them to a truly realized life.
Thank you so much.
THE WELL-BEING IN JAPAN
EF-ZOΪA (definition) good life, prosperity, goodness, happiness, comfortable life / Engl. healthy life, wellbeing, welfare
The term “efzoia” (ευζωΐα) is a Greek word. The effort to translate it from people to people and from time to time encounters several difficulties, as it takes “form” and “color” according to the historical, geopolitical and religious background of each nation, in order to finally express the different way of thinking about the EF ZIN (well-being) of each people, by engaging and rejecting -at the same time- practices, beliefs and methods.
Through Christmas, for example, “chirosfagia” (eating the sacrificial pig) is a forced annual practice aimed at traditional consumption of pork by the Orthodox Christian Greek family table as a quality food and living status – but at the same time a Muslim or Jewish person, whether Greek or not, will follow a different nutritional etiquette, while criticizing the habits of the first; the pork is described as “unclean” by both.
The same is true of folk customs, with the festivals being considered world-wide as “traditional of the people”, even if some of them are banned by the authorities of each country, since they call into question the political, religious (in our case the “Orthodox”) and social propriety (eg the indigenous Ainu of Japan, Brazil, Australia, India, Indian tribes in the US, Canada, Peru etc.)
It is therefore perceived that its complex definition assumes a political and at the same time human dimension, including ecological factors (management of natural resources, waste management, use of every new form of kinetic energy, respect for the Mother Nature) nutritional (quality and mild diet of constantly increasing world population and individually with the right and balanced diet for each person), psychological (mental health of a person), economic (state economic prosperity, decent standard of living) etc. As for the political factors, one finds the need of absence of warfare, which can lead to swelling of the immigration flows and to the breakdown of the core of daily life, and therefore, of wellbeing.
The Well-Being in Japan
Each Japanese word can accommodate up to nine different interpretations. When the Japanese want to refer to the meaning of “Well-Being”, they refer (incidentally?) to the phrase “Seitai – Sotai” which is translated “Physical Balancing”.
It was mentioned by Hippocrates (6th BC).
Since it has reached the ears of Japan, it has been adopted and deeply drawn into its soul, being one of the most basic characteristics of the people.
The balanced relationship, based on the harmonious coexistence of man and nature (Note: Japan today with its 85 million inhabitants has a 76% forest cover!),… the balanced relationship between people, the balanced relationship of the citizen with the state, the balanced relationship of man with Himself (as part of the Whole Nation), and many more, is, for Japan’s present, the continuation of a good and well-balanced life from the creation of the proto-mythical Japanese state – nation, until now, as everything (literally) “is under control” (in all sectors without exception: state, administrative, public, committee, professional, educational, etc.), in order to achieve the Well-Being of the Whole and its continuity in time, in the Country of the Blooming Cherry Tree.
What characterizes, then, the Japanese nation-state, is the two National Japanese Contemptions that survive through the eras: “Control and Continuity”.
Japan has always respected and still respects every national tradition and religious ethos (Buddhist and Shintoist type). Everything is aimed at the realization of the well-being (spiritually and physically), with the Buddhist temples being an ally of the State, functioning over time as hospitals, schools, institutions, healing centers, gyms etc.
As a primary factor for the effort of participation of a Japanese in Prosperity / Well-Being -always under state or imperial control and guidance- from ancienty to the present day, is the traditional Therapeutic or Calisthenic (= strengthening – preservation of “Sthenus” (Σθένος) power of body, force, moral power, courage, daring) Arts / Toyo Igaku. Besides, the systematic follow-up of the Japanese diet (fish, herbs, rice, tea), which is considered to be the most healthful world-wide, occupies an important place in achieving Well-Being. Following are Evnomia (the reward of the individual by the State, on the basis of fair laws), the Theater (No, Kabuki, Kyogen), Music, Poetry, Costume – Hair. The ceremonies (customs, label, etc.) occupy a dominant role.
Well-Being for a Japanese (over time) is a complex concept that involves in a large and significant proportion the term “Lifelong Learning / Education” in every subject that a person chooses. From the first-emerging race to the so-called Japanese lands, and to the modern Japan, we distinguish the characteristic of its timeless training and intellectual upheaval a factor which justifies the present sovereignty of the country in the technological and economic world. All this thanks to the observance of its traditional practices and doctrines.
Japan, to a certain extent, remains mysterious and enigmatic, with the inhabitans occupying the first place of the world’s longest-living people (along with the Greeks of the island Ikaria). Let’s take a look …
Naikan / “Looking Inside”
The doctrine of Naikan (Look Inside) belongs to the Buddhist sect Jodo-shin (sect of the “Pure Earth”).
It was first applied (1949) to criminal convicts and later to (mental or physical) patients.
Over time, by using it in healthy and non-healthy individuals, it has gained the appreciation of educators, psychologists and psychiatrists worldwide, recognizing it as a highly effective system of psychoanalysis and lifestyle for the systematic purification of the Self and the Renewal of the Soul, from the social ills of each era.
It is a reformatory and psychotherapeutic method, guided introspection, developed by Yoshimoto-Ishin (1916 – 1988), a businessman and a faithful Buddhist.
During the working hours (from morning to sunset) the client-person is asked to look at his past and recall experiences and situations.
The questions he puts on a systematic (or everyday) basis to himself are:
What is the help I received (Sewa)?
b) What have I done to reciprocate this help (Shimpai)?
c) What problems and complications have I caused to others? (Meiwaku)
The individual is encouraged to remember the facts precisely rather than through disturbed impressions.
In this way, the individual “re-calculates” his personal image through the high awareness of the need for charity, interacting with others, and the sense of unreliable guilt in possible unfair behaviors towards others.
In the final stage the individual is expected to seek the atonement of his guilt through constructive work in order to repay the benefits he received, as well as to serve the society.
Healing in Tibet
Between the 7th and 9th century AD, Galen came to Tibet through the Silk Road, coming from the Byzantine lands, as Tibetan sources report. His contribution is considered to be catalytic, mainly regarding the transfer of practices to the East (like, e.g., the urine test of the patient according to Hippocrates, which was adopted by the Tibetan therapists).
The Tibetan (“Esoteric”) Science (Nangrig) includes: Literature, Epistemology, Arts, Qualification and Therapeutics. Treatment techniques also include: Tantrism, Alchemy, Physiopathology.
In 1696, in the capital of Lhasa (close to the Potala palace), to the Iron Mountain (Chakpori), the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa sect of Mahayana Buddhism, headed by the Dalai Lama, encapsulated and systematized those techniques, sharing them as the material for the monks and Lama therapists.
Traditional Japanese Therapeutic Art
The ancient Japanese Therapeutic Art (Kojiki), was based only on Exorcisms, Purifications (Baths – Harai) and Herbal Medicine (kampo).
In the Therapeutic Exorcism the main divinity is considered to be the Shinto deity (kami) Opo-Namudi-No-Kami.
The Harai baths in volcanic lakes, long before, were referring to the mythology of indigenous inhabitants of the Japanese (and not only) islands of Ainu.
In the 5th century AD, the Japanese Emperor invited healers from China and Korea. The first school was named “Naniwa No Kusushi” (Naniwa Practitioners).
In 718 AD, the “Institute of Therapeutics” (Ten ‘yakuryo) was set up and worked under the Ministry of the Imperial House, teaching Medicine (acupuncture, surgery, pediatrics), Acupuncture, Moxa, Massage (including Chiropractic), Psalms (Exorcisms) and Herbal Medicine.
It was addressed to the rich and the higher classes; the poor people were finding treatments in the Buddhist temples and other “sect” communities.
Japanese Physical Education (Fitness) – Toyo Igaku Taijutsu
The Japanese physical education system (toyo igaku) separates physical exercises into two main categories:
a. Taiso = exercises of flexibility and empowerment,
b. Taiataro = hardening and nurturing exercises.
Both categories can be practiced indoors or outdoors. They include practices individually or in couples – several times special equipment is used (no relation with the western type equipment) – they are a mixture of ancient yoga, breathing exercises, explosive or long-lasting repetitions, simple exercises or combinations.
Teachings and progress are monitored gently, and gradually the exercises become “acrobatic gymnastics”!
All ages benefit from toyo igaku as long as its techniques are adapted to any “age requirement”.
Toyo igaku changes the human body, making it healthy, straight and robust – directly and for a long time. The lifelong practice, has made the Japanese people the longer lived people on the planet (we do not forget the Hellenic Icarians of course!).
The Toyo igaku, the ancient judo (the classical, non-sport) and horse riding, are the only Taijutsu (body arts), that strengthen the fascia muscles which support the internal organs of the human body. The only ones!
In addition, Japanese physical education supplies blood everywhere it is needed, detoxifies the body, strengthens tendons and muscles by retaining them in flexibility, strengthens the joints, increases endurance, tightens, raises, sculpts and transforms all bodies like being of iron.
Tsubo (The Points)
Tsubo initially diagnoses the symptom. Then each objective and subjective cause of each disease is examined. Then, comes the intervention. It separates the human body as composed of organs divided into two categories: six (6) organs of “Zo” and six other “Fu”. Their balance (Seitai Sotai) means Health. Their imbalance means Sickness. These instruments, combined with the male power (Yang) and the female (Yin), balance into five (5) synthetic elements: wood, fire, earth, gold and water.
The Basis of Eastern Medicine is to consider each Symptom of Illness as a natural phenomenon.
For tsubo, which follows Eastern therapeutic philosophy, human existence is only ONE part of Nature. When human is out of the Line of Bouncing Nature, his natural health collapses. The human, In order to be cured, he must be reinstated in Harmony with Natural Laws.
«The Healing Judo»
The only thing we need to say in order to understand the importance and grandeur of Judo Art is the following excerpt from the book “Third Eye” (published by Cactus, Athens 1975) by Tibetan Lama Robinson Rampa:
In Chakpori we learn an Art I will call Judo. […] The well-known judo is an elemental form of our system. It is not taught in all the monasteries, but we in Chakpori have learned it, to gain self-control, to be able to give anaesthesia for medical purposes and to be able to travel safely. As Lamas – doctors we have to use only this art, for self-defense and self-control. […]
This Judo helped to deprive a person of his conscience when, for example, we put in broken bones or teeth […] Thanks to this, there is no pain in surgery or dangerous complications. Someone can be stunned before he knows well what’s going on and can wake up hours or seconds later … if we would stun a person at the moment he was speaking, as soon as he would wake up, he would continue his words at the point where he was interrupted… This higher system and the instantaneous hypnotism prevented any misuse of these forces […]
The Lama who taught us judo could defeat ten attackers at the same time – with a small hit on someone’s throat he could stun him […] he would safely paralyze the brain […] we are almost invulnerable in falling.
Seiki Jutsu – Method of Vital Activation and Rejuvenation
In Japan, “treatment” means “Return to Self, in order to become Your True Self”.
This method helps to gain one’s own self-healing ability. In a short time, one feels his own Internal Healing Reaction active, as long as the “Source of Healing is the Succession of Body Wisdom”! It is the most appropriate and effective exercise for the elderly, according to the World Medical Community.
Traditional Japanese Seiki Jutsu guarantees:
1. Strengthening – Muscle Density (Better Balance and Strength).
2. Reduce the Risk of Falling by at least 23%.
3. Improvement of the Circulation System.
4. Strengthening the Immune System.
6. Enrichment of Blood Components.
7. Sufficient perfusion of the hip and bone joints.
Shaolin Kung Fu
the tradition that maintains the methods of spirit development,
for more than 1500 years – based on Zen philosophy and body exercise
through the martial arts of Shaolin Temple
First part (Flexibility)
In the 6th century AD an Indian teacher traveled from India to China; he arrived at Shaolin Temple. His name was Bodhidharma. When he arrived, he found that some monks did not have the physical condition to endure the demanding longstanding concentration that the monastic rules laid down. In order to help them, he created a special series of exercises, aiming to give the monks the necessary power. The story says that he lived in a cave at the top of the mountain; at the foot of this cave, the monastery was laying. He lived there for nine years; through deep meditation he founded a system of exercises to strengthen the body, but also a philosophy that combines everyday action with inner enlightenment. This way of acting and perceiving, was called “Chan” in Chinese; later it was defined as “Zen” in Japanese.
Second part (Power)
The fact that the temple was built in the forest, carried a lot of dangers. In addition to exercises for body reconstruction and cleansing of the spirit, Bodhidarhama also introduced battle techniques with bare hands. The monks of the monastery later developed these techniques into an integrated method of self-defense and internal cultivation that became known as Kung Fu of the Shaolin Temple.
Part Three (Skill)
As the monastery was remoted from the world, the monks had to cultivate large areas of land themselves in order to survive. Many times, in order to defend not only themselves, but the sacred scriptures and the heirlooms of their ancestors, they used their agricultural tools as weapons, since they were readily available at any time. Just shovels, carvings, big and small knives, brooms and simple bamboo poles have become the arsenal that kept themselves and their culture safe.
Indeed their most famous weapon was the pole; their techniques originally started from using the broom; afterwards in order to be more efficient they used only the wood.
The emphasis on the use of weapons is given in the speed, strength and precision of their movements as they become extension of the body.
All Shaolin’s weapons require art and dexterity to use -even the most innocent objects, like a simple pole, in the hands of an experienced fighter become wonderful means of defending.
Part Four (Imitation)
The Shaolin ascetics lived deep in the mountains close to nature. Their reflection on the characteristics of the different animals that lived in the area was a source of inspiration to imitate their survival techniques.
Tigers, leopards, eagles, cranes, snakes, the praying mantis, were some of the animals that inhabited the mountains around Shaolin Temple.
The monks have patiently observed these animals and incorporated some of their movements by adapting them to human physiology.
In addition, their spirit, attitude, as well as their natural and instinctive actions characterized by determination and decisive action have been studied.
The Shaolin ascetics did not just replicate animal movements. Observing their habits, they incorporated elements both for health enhancing and for the right action according to situations.
The spirit of each animal corresponds to both spiritual and physical qualities based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Chinese popular culture which Shaolin has incorporated into its philosophy and practice.
Fifth part (Harmonization – 6 Harmonies)
1. The body is combined with the intention and the movement with precision and awareness.
2. The intention is combined with the concentration and the motion of the body without thought.
3. The concentration is combined with breathing and “Chi” (Bioenergy).
4. Breathing is combined and guided by the spirit.
5. Spirit is combined with the movement and the harmonization is achieved.
Movements stem from “emptiness” – the “action without action”.
Part Six (Consolidation)
How can physical activity and, consequently, all our daily activities function as an expression of “Zen”?
The Shin Yi Pa method, the union of Heart (Shin) and Intent (Yi), reflect an indivisible whole, where the mind becomes one with the body and actively participates in the eternal becoming of the present “now.”
When this is done there is no outside and inside, myself and you, this and the others.
Everything becomes a perpetual motion of a continuous creation – they become “One”.
This “One” is the beginning and the essence of Well-Being, it is revealed and follows us everywhere, whatever we do.
Without clash, toil and any anxiety
we simply “flow” in the momment recognizing this unique power continually.
This recognition is the freedom we have but also the only choice …