In internal training, we have to start with emotions. Most of our decisions are made based on emotion. Any good salesperson can tell you a customer buys because of emotion and justifies the purchase with logic. Emotions, like everything else, are energy, neither good nor bad. It is your mind which chooses whether they are good or bad. Emotions are just responses that are part of our evolution of survival skills.
Fear can keep you safe from danger or keep you from prospering. Interestingly enough, in Chinese, the word “crisis” is the combination of the characters for danger and opportunity. Happiness balances sadness. Anger balances fear. But you have to be able to control it. It is self-destructive to live there perpetually. Too much ego, can cause an imbalance in between your emotions, which leads to a loss of focus.
Our method of practicing meditation is Qigong, which means “energy practice”. This concept is important since, as stated in part 1, everything is energy.
Qigong regulates our breathing, our movement, an our thoughts – our feeling, action, and thoughts. Everything becomes mediation when these 3 elements are in harmony.
Focus of the mind should be at the forefront of your training, because everything starts with a thought. The When the mind becomes focused, the emotions become calm. Then the correct action can take place.
A scattered mind cannot focus. Thoughts wander, and a scattered mind is susceptible to illusions that can lead to a negative emotional response. Western psychotherapy refers to illusions as Cognitive Distortions - extremely harmful and destructive thought processes that appear normal, rational, and reasonable. Illusions have the power to distort the view of yourself or others, and poison your sense of equilibrium. There is a saying, “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind.” Persistent negative thinking influences how you feel, causing destructive behavior that reinforces negative patterns of thought. Negative patterns of thought prevent you from living a fully expressed life. As a warrior, your mind has to be able to control itself, in order for you to survive and thrive.
Lack of focus taps into the negative emotional state. Clarity of mind allows you to slowly detach from the five senses; ridding yourself of the burdens that come from the five senses.
This results in a calm (heart) emotional state .
First of all, Qigong practice begins with breathing. Breathing affects the body, heart and mind.
A human being can live 3 days without water, up to a month with no food, but we can only live a few minutes without breathing. Breathing affects the organs. It seems simple but most people do not think about how they breathe.
Breathing triggers the:
Relaxed body- action
Focused mind- thinking
Calm heart- feeling
As you breath, slowly, rhythmically, and deeply (natural breathing - Breathing should have the rhythm of a wave) you clear the mind.
Second, the emotions become calm - You start to eliminate ego.
Third, the body becomes relaxed - this allows qi to flow.
Stillness happens when the body is relaxed, the mind is clear and the heart is calm.
When you can achieve a state of calm, you can change perspective. Different perspectives allow you to envision more possibilities, which can lead to a life change. Ultimately, it can lead to self-mastery.
In closing, adapting to change and achieving self-mastery isn’t easy. It takes time and effort. In fact, the definition of Kung Fu is “skill and ability developed over time through hard work”. And remember, when we talk about practicing meditation; it is just that, practice! True meditation happens when you can remain calm under pressure, under fire.
One of the most damaging obstacles to our self-improvement is the statement that we tell ourselves, “I don’t feel like it” - This means you are harmonizing on the inside, letting the outside control you. *After saying.” I don’t feel like it” your next statement should be “now I must.”