Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Monday, November 5, 2012

Secrets of the Ninja (6)

Physical Preparation

One cannot embark on the path of enlightenment all at once. Development of the mind
can be achieved only when the body has been prepared. The breathing exercises given here are
strenuous in the extreme-some may produce unconsciousness. The shock to the body could be
quite severe unless proper precautions are taken.

Therefore, people with heart trouble, chronic ailments, diabetes, or similar infirmity are
advised to practice only these preparatory exercises for at least ninety days before attempting
the breathing techniques. Nor should this practice be undertaken while under the influence of
any form of medication, narcotic, or alcohol.

The following exercises prepare the body for the experience of inner energy. They are
certainly Chinese in origin, therapeutic in nature, and essential to Kuji Kiri practice. Similar exercises
are found in many Yogic traditions. Some hold that this series of movements (excluding
the breathing techniques given here) is derived from an ancient Chinese medical exercise
known as the Eight Pieces of Brocade. But, certainly, the Nine Finger Knitting positions or
Mudra that follow, each of which represents a “gate” on the “Heavenly Pillar” of the spine, and
that are often called the Nine Keys of the Mind Gate, are the core of the practice.

Full Lotus Position

Sit in a Full Lotus Pose, right foot sole uppermost on the left thigh, left foot sole uppermost
crossing the right shin, locking it into place, on the right thigh. Relax the shoulders,
straighten the back, do not lean. Close the eyes and empty the Mind. This is often difficult, but
the purpose of meditation is to calm the surface of the Pool of the Subconscious. Human Beings
see the reality as it is reflected in this “magic mirror.” If the surface is troubled, then one cannot
see or think clearly. Thus the symbolism of the Water
element. This will calm the mind, heal the body, and
help you to see yourself inside. Clench the fists and
place them on the knees, palm uppermost. This will aid
in diminishing your thoughts and enable you to concentrate
on the experience of inner energy. Take three deep
breaths, imagining the numbers 3-2-1 with each as you
“count down to relaxation.” At the conclusion of the
third breath, imagining the numeral 1, swallow and
place the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
This connects the psychic channels of the body at the
crown and the base of the torso. Click your teeth together
thirty-six times. Do this lightly and at an even
pace. This calms the heart, even in times of stress.

~Ashida Kim