Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Secrets of the Ninja (9)

Shen- 2nd Kanji/Mudra

The second center of power is the source of the Jen Mo, or Channel of Function. It begins
at the base of the genitals and travels up the center of the body, ending on the face just
above the chin. Along this path lie twenty-four acupuncture points, or points of adjustment. If
there is an imbalance in this channel’s flow of energy, the back of the neck will be stiff and
there will be spiritual unrest. This center represents the water element. Its form is circular and
its color is white. It controls sexual desires and is characterized by the energy of youth. It corresponds
to the epigastric plexus and develops power generation in the psychic centers.
Place the palms together as before and extend the index fingers. Withdraw the middle finger
from its intertwined position and place it over the index fingers. Think of the Hara, the One
SHEN– Direction of Energy

Lift the hands and trace the illustrated ideogram in the air before you by alternately tracing
five horizontal and four vertical lines. Close the eyes and visualize the character. Place the
hands in the lap.

Hold the head erect. Begin with an exhalation brought about by a rapid inward stroke of the
abdomen. Inhalation follows immediately by relaxation of the abdominal muscles. Thus, inhalation
is so passive and automatic that one again creates an oxygen debt within the system; as
before, this produces a sensation of warmth. Repeat this exercise eighty-one times at the rate of
two exhalations per second. Lay the head back, exposing the throat.

On the eighty-first repetition, hold the breath as before with the diaphragm. Previously it
was specified that the Lotus posture of yoga be employed for these exercises. The reason will
now become apparent. When the breathing exercise described herein is properly performed
over a long period, certain vibrations begin within the body. These emanate from the center of
power we are now considering. The vibrations, coupled with a feeling of exhilaration, lessen
motor control of the limbs. In the Lotus, the legs are in a position impossible to undo without
the aid of the hands. Thus they are not likely to be disturbed by this loss of control. Such an
occurrence would likely cause one to fall over.

This exercise is used to develop concentration. In the stage of sensory withdrawal, one becomes
responsive to those forces which are of a spiritual nature. When the Ninja finds that he
can detach himself from senses, he is ready for this, the second, phase. In this state, let the
mind wander and your thoughts take their own course freely. At first this is difficult because
the mind is so full of many things. After a time, it settles and begins to flow.

This unrestricted stream of consciousness may entertain good as well as evil thoughts, so
evil that one will often be surprised. But, day by day, these will diminish, become less and
less numerous, and less extensive. Until, finally, only one thought remains. Then attention is
directed to the interval between thoughts. The latter are elusive and fluctuating continuously.
The former, the interval, is calm and flowing. By this experience one comes to know the true
self. This exercise is often taught as a purification ritual.

~Ashida Kim