Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Secrets of the Ninja (7)

Bringing the Energy to the Palms

Place the left palm over the right and rub in a circular
manner from left to right twenty-four times. Then reverse
the hands, right over left, and repeat. This will
stimulate circulation. The hands are now warm. Place
the palms on the back above the kidneys. Rotate both
hands vigorously on the back twenty-four time. Then
hold the hands over the kidneys for a few minutes. This
will strengthen the kidneys, improve the posture, and increase
vitality. This area is known as the Gate of Life.
The exercise is called Kindling the Fire.
Relax, rest the hands on the thighs, close the eyes. You are now ready to begin the
breathing exercises.

Kuji Kiri (Nine Cuts) Breathing Exercises

In the classical presentation of the Longevity Exercise, the student is instructed at this
point to exhale completely and hold the lungs empty for as long as comfortable. This is
analogous to "running the carburetor lean" on an automobile and is designed to burn off toxins
and impurities that may have accumulated in the lungs during normal respiration. One should
never strain or overexert when performing these techniques. Most people can only hold this exhalation
for a few seconds. Beginners are advised to remain at this level for at least 30 days.
That a direct relation exists between the breath and the heart rate must be obvious. The
following practices are known collectively as Qi Gong (Chi Kung) Qi meaning breath, and
Gong meaning pause. Literally, Qi Gong translates as a cessation or pause in the movement of
the breath. This is accomplished in three ways: by hypoventilation (holding the breath); hyperventilation
(oxygen saturation); and by balanced breathing.

Hypoventilation makes the blood more acidic by diminishing the amount of oxygen in
the blood. It is characterized by a sensation of heat which floods over the body. This also causes
the heart to beat faster as it strives to restore the proper pH balance of the blood by circulating it
more quickly. Hyperventilation is characterized by a chill feeling of cold, which permeates the
body. It causes the blood to become more alkaline by altering the system with large amounts of
oxygen. This makes the heart beat slower. Proper or Balanced Breathing produces a sensation
of calmness and relaxation.

There are three major "centers of power" in the human body. The Sacral Pump, the
Heart Pump, and the Cranial Pump. The first, at the base of the spine, is activated by the Lotus
posture. The second beats constantly. The third is the tip of the tongue pressing, in harmony
with the pulse, against the roof of the mouth. Each of these "centers" is represented by a specific
mudra or finger-knitting position. Between these centers are nine "gates" up the spinal column
that enable the Ninja to collect Qi in the Hara, cultivate it through the breathing techniques,
and elevate it to the Mysterious Chamber of the Mind to achieve enlightenment. Each of
these "gates" is represented by a specific mudra. Each requires a specific breathing technique to
"open" the associated endocrine gland and allow the Qi to rise.

The finger-knitting mudra enable the student to mnemonically remember each level and exercise,
and to draw upon the power of that level of initiation.

Kuji Kiri is the technique of performing these hypnotic hand movements while in seated
meditation and, by describing a kanji or ideogram in the air before him, imagine a particular
positive attribute of his training, while the movements of his arms in doing so hydraulically
"pumps" the oxygen rich blood to that area. This is essential in the study of medical applications
of these methods.

These magical in-signs created by knitting the fingers together can be used to restore
one’s confidence in moments of stress, or to hypnotize an adversary into inaction or temporary
paralysis. Each is a key or psychological trigger to a specific center of power in the body. There
are three basic positions, corresponding to the three basic Qi Gong techniques. Each of these
yields three variations for a total of nine. From each of these are derived three variations for
each of the three types of energy (Yin, Yang, Tao). These are keyed to the 12 Meridians of
Acupuncture, the Four Seas, the Five Elements, and so on for a grand total of eighty-one.

~Ashida Kim