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Searching for Lady Kung Fu from The New Youk Times

Angela Mao was as famous as Bruce Lee when she was a
martial arts film star during the 1970s. Then she seemed to vanish.

It turns out she’s been in Queens this whole time.

At the reception for an Asian film festival at Lincoln Center six years ago, excitement rippled through the crowd: Was it her? Lady Kung Fu? Was that Lady Whirlwind?

 

Rumors long circulated that she had left movie stardom in Hong Kong for domestic life in New York City, but no one had heard much else about Angela Mao, possibly the most famous martial arts actress of her time, in more than 30 years.

Surprised fans were now greeted by a small 60-year-old w

 

oman wearing a floral silk dress. Her son helped her manage the crowd. One fan, Ric Meyers, approached her for a photo. Like others, he was curious to know what she had been up to. He got his answer.

“She told me and my friends she was running restaurants in Queens,” Mr. Meyers said. “I told them, ‘We all have to go.’ But we all just got too busy and never went.”

“She gave off the impression,” he added, “that she was a very private person.”

On a warm afternoon this September, Ms. Mao, now 66, sat in one of those restaurants, keeping an eye on lunch service as she rubbed her baby granddaughter’s belly.

The restaurant, Nan Bei Ho, sits on a quiet street in Bayside, a suburban Queens neighborhood beyond the reaches of the subway system and not far from the Long Island border. It is the oldest of three restaurants she runs with her husband and son, all of them in Queens. It serves Taiwanese food and is popular on weekends but is otherwise nondescript.

Martial arts fans have sought the address of this restaurant for some time — they wanted to know what happened to Angela Mao, the Queen of Kung Fu, who fought and flew through dozens of films in the 1970s but vanished within a decade.

A woman with a hearty laugh, Ms. Mao sometimes expressed confusion that people still had any interest in her.

Over the course of three hours at the restaurant, she spoke in Mandarin, with her son and his wife translating into English. Ms. Mao, who usually declines interviews, reflected on her past without sentimentality.

On moving to New York: “My son was born, and my husband came here for work. Supporting my family is what is most important to me.”

On her second vocation: “Chinese restaurants are always a good way to make money in the U.S.”

On leaving the spotlight: “My story is now in history. I want to be off the screen. I always keep low.”

When encouraged to discuss her stardom with less modesty, she turned away from her granddaughter, seeming to consider the past for the first time in a long while. Then she chuckled.

“How famous was I?” she said. “When I was a somebody, Jackie Chan was a nobody.”

Ms. Mao’s career was brief but bright, taking place in Hong Kong and Taiwan and including roles in more than 30 films over a decade. Studios promoted her as a female Bruce Lee. When she appeared as Mr. Lee’s doomed sister in the 1973 martial arts classic “Enter the Dragon,” her place in the kung fu canon was secured. Quentin Tarantino has cited her as an influence, and a violent fight scene in his 2003 film “Kill Bill” involving a swinging ball and chain is strikingly similar to one of Ms. Mao’s duels in “Broken Oath.”

She fought with ferocity and grace, mowing through armies of opponents with jaw-breaking high kicks, interrupting the carnage only to flip her pigtails to the side. A common climax in her films was her combating a villain twice her size.

“She was the first female kung fu star — name above title,” said J. Hoberman, a longtime movie critic who now writes about video for The New York Times. He has fond memories of seeing Ms. Mao’s movies on triple bills at Times Square grindhouse theaters in the 1970s. “She basically had one act, which was going from an obedient character to a machine-like avenger,” he added. “A lot of people saw her films as feminist statements the same way as Pam Grier films.”

Ms. Mao’s career coincided with the over-the-top, often impolitic exploitation era in film. The narrator for an American trailer of her 1972 film “Hapkido” declares: “Watch out for the pigtail that whips you up and wipes you out. … Lady Kung Fu: the unbreakable China Doll who gives you the licking of your life.”

She was born Mao Ching Ying in 1950 and grew up in Taiwan, the third of eight children, to a family of entertainers for the Peking Opera House. Like her siblings, she started training for the opera at a young age, taking voice lessons when she was 5. She also studied martial arts, specifically hapkido, rising to the level of black belt — a prowess that later distinguished her from other action stars, who merely choreographed their fight scenes.

In her 20s, she moved to Hong Kong, where a thriving film industry was based, but she was hardly romantic about it. “To be honest, the money was just better in movies,” she said. “I had to support my family. Most of the money I made I gave to them. This is the Chinese tradition.”

Leading female roles were rare in Hong Kong at the time. Mr. Meyers, the fan who met with Ms. Mao at Lincoln Center, is the author of “Films of Fury,” a comprehensive history of the kung fu movie genre. Ms. Mao, he said, was the first woman to star in her own action films without having to defer to a male star.

Men ran things,” he explained. “Hong Kong had lots of machismo then. Women were considered ‘jade vases.’ They didn’t speak on screen. They were considered decoration.”

When asked about this epithet, Ms. Mao snapped, “I was never anybody’s ‘jade vase.’” She shifted in her seat. Moments later, she dispatched her son to tend to a customer she noticed from the corner of her eye.

Her break came when the Hong Kong producer Raymond Chow discovered her in an opera. Though Ms. Mao generally described her life as a case of being in the right place at the right time, she did display a rare moment of tenderness at this point. “I have to thank God and Raymond Chow,” she said.

The dominant studio in Hong Kong at the time was Shaw Brothers, which produced dozens of formulaic action films per year. Mr. Chow was considered one of Asian cinema’s revolutionaries for founding the competing studio, Golden Harvest, which is credited with helping bring martial arts cinema to the West. Among his early coups were signing Bruce Lee — and discovering Angela Mao.

“Everyone told him, ‘No one wants to see a woman on the screen,’” Mr. Meyers said. “He said, ‘That’s not true: I do.’ And Raymond Chow was right. He searched for a female actress with the same charisma and talent as Bruce Lee, and he found Angela Mao.”

Her first prominent role was “Hapkido,” or “Lady Kung Fu,” in 1972. “That made me a star,” she said. “I traveled the world to promote it. People knew my face. Then the whole Asian world knew my face.” “Lady Kung Fu,” along with “Lady Whirlwind,” also in 1972, established her nicknames.

In the early 1970s, she appeared in a string of films now considered martial arts classics: “Angry River,” “Thunderbolt,” “The Fate of Lee Khan,” “When Taekwondo Strikes” and “The Tournament.” A teenage Jackie Chan appeared as an uncredited stuntman in several of her early films.

“Jackie and I started together,” she said. “We learned to take care of each other. He is my brother.” At the height of Ms. Mao’s fame, a man attacked her on a walk home, she recalled in an interview from the mid-1990s. She promptly dealt him several kicks. He ran off. The episode made headlines.

Ms. Mao reflected: “A lot happened to me in a little bit of time.”

Aside from some cameos in the early 1990s, Ms. Mao said, she effectively concluded her film career in 1983, when her son was born. By this time, her husband had moved to New York to start a construction company. Ms. Mao and their son joined him in 1993. She opened her first restaurant, Mama King, on Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing three years later. She opened Nan Bei Ho in 1997. New Mei Hua, in Flushing, and Guo Ba Inc, in Bayside, would follow.

“After I got married,” she said, chuckling, “I had to keep a lower profile so my husband could be the leader. But in film? I was the king.”

Ms. Mao’s lack of regard for stardom may have been apparent from the start. “It is evident that success has not spoiled Angela Mao, or that she is too simple to know the extent of her popularity,” a 1974 profile in a martial arts magazine reads. “But, there is a small indication she is finding all the strings of kung fu movies a bit monotonous since she constantly repeats her plans after retirement. She still considers herself Mao Ching Ying, the Chinese opera actress and loves simple clothes.”

The article ends: “Angela Mao gets up to leave. She runs her hands down the sides of her Levi’s, crushes a last Silva Thin on an ashtray and picks up her purse.… She did not say goodbye.”

If Ms. Mao has tried to part ways with her past, she has never been able to fully shake it. The occasional customer recognizes her to this day, and sharp-eyed kung fu fans still stop her in the street.

“It always happens,” Ms. Mao said. She recalled the time years ago when, while she was sitting in Central Park, a man shouted “That’s Angela Mao!” “He wanted to know what it was like working with Jackie Chan,” she said. “I was so surprised.”

Mr. Meyers considered her legacy. “She didn’t have the ego of Bruce Lee,” he said. “He didn’t feel justified unless he was a star. She didn’t need that. She left Hong Kong on her own terms. She was a pioneer unconcerned with her own stardom.”

May Joseph, a professor at Pratt Institute who wrote an essay about Ms. Mao as a feminist hero, encapsulated her influence this way: “She was a radical feminist cinematic presence before there was a language for that,” she wrote in an email. “She is the Lauren Bacall of kung fu.”

Ms. Mao, however, bristled at grandiose notions about her legacy; she was not interested in hearing that she had become the subject of feminist literature.

“This is not a gender situation,” she said with a baffled expression. “I just played myself. I am strong and I am powerful. That is how I became the most important female kung fu actress of my time.”

Nan Bei Ho, one of the three restaurants Ms. Mao runs in Queens. Online message boards had speculated for years about her whereabouts. “So which restaurants does she own?” a fan wrote online. “Because I want to know which ones I should avoid when me and my thugs walk in and tip over furniture and demand protection money.”CreditAn Rong Xu for The New York Times

One story told in kung fu circles is that she was paid only $100 for her role in “Enter the Dragon.” The subject obviously fatigued her. “I’m more focused on the quality of the movie than how much money I got paid,” she said. “I am very traditional. I don’t want to argue for special things. I don’t think much about male power and female power.”

Grady Hendrix, a founder of the film festival at Lincoln Center who endured the challenge of tracking her down, suggested that Ms. Mao was part of a bigger story.

“She’s one of those martial arts ‘What happened to?’” Mr. Hendrix said. “Lots of Hong Kong talent ends up in places like New York or Vancouver. One of the ‘Five Deadly Venoms’ had a kung fu academy in New York. For every Jackie Chan, there’s ones that aren’t.”

“You get the sense it was all embarrassing to her,” he added.

As evening approached at Nan Bei Ho, Ms. Mao seemed to have had enough of reminiscing. While her family and staff took a break to feast on barbecued meats in celebration of an autumn Chinese festival, she fed mashed potato on a soup spoon to her granddaughter. Later, she chopped snails in the kitchen to make a soup for her son, George King.

Over the years, Mr. King, 33, has become his mother’s reluctant point man, handling occasional inquiries from kung fu pilgrims who track down his cellphone number. He shares her indifference to the past. “I just don’t think about it,” he said. “That generation thought about things differently. I think she was just blind to gender inequality. She was too busy working to support her family.”

He said he was aware from a young age that his mother had some kind of glamorous past, but the level of fame was a mystery to him until a Japanese media company offered to fly them to Tokyo for a celebration of her films in 2007. “Thirty years after her career ended, we’re eating yakitori at this restaurant,” he said. “Two fans are just standing outside in the cold. All they wanted was her autograph.”

“When people ask me ‘How does it feel to have Angela Mao as your mother?’” he added, “I say, ‘Well, you just said it: She’s my mother.’”

But he seemed to find some poetry in her improbable path to Queens while visiting a mall on Long Island some years ago. A video rental shop there had a selection of kung fu movies dedicated to the greats: Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li. A section was also dedicated to Angela Mao.

“A whole section is devoted to Mom,” he said. The shop owner noticed his interest.

“The man who ran the place said, ‘Call me; I have many more.’” said Mr. King. “But I just smiled and walked out.”

Posted in Kobudo, Newsletter, Niei Chi, Scanned Articles, Senpai Phillips, Weapons

What did we think would happen?

Posted in Cartoons, Newsletter, Niei Chi, Philosophy, Youth

Grading Results – September 1, 2017

CMAC-Crest-Hi-Res-whitebg - Classical Martial Arts Centre - Toronto Central Region

Karate-Do: Adult

Shodan

Mr. John Martinez (S)

2nd Kyu
Lou Piccioni

5th Kyu
Shrawani Ghosh


Karate-Do: Youth

Blue/Brown
Alexander Boritz (S)

2nd Kyu
Benjamin Boritz (S)

3rd Kyu
Dylan Ramm (S)


Karate-Do: Children

Yellow/Orange
Alexander Sharpe
Jack Potocnik

5th Kyu
Devon Thomas
Nicole Rodriguez

White/Yellow
Toluwalase “Lase” Balogun


Outstanding Performance

Alexander Sharpe

 


We expect through diligent study, training and application, there will be further progress in the future.

Posted in Announcement, Kobudo, Newsletter, Niei Chi, Youth

Okuden By O’Sensei Kim Hanshi

Innermost secrets of the Martial Arts.

‘Body language is the language of the heart.Sensei Richard Kim - Classical Martial Arts Centre - Toronto Central Region - Martial Arts classes offered in Toronto - Adults and Children - Karate-Do, Jiu Jitsu, Self-Defense, Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Gung, Ba Gwa, Iaido, Jodo, Kobudo, Ancient Weaponry, Kali.

The body cannot hide the feeling of your heart’.

 

‘When you receive information for the first time it ne new.

The consciousness decides relativity.

That is why westerners students question their instructors.

In the east they accept’.

 

‘One of the best ways of winning a fight is to get your opponent to talk. That puts him in a conscious frame of mind and that is no good for fighting’.

 

‘You must stay loose when you fight.

If you hit a stick it breaks.

The vibration goes all the way through it,

but if you hit a towel the portion where you hit absorbs the force’.

 

‘The left hook is considered the best blow (form a south paw) because the opponent doesn’t see it coming. So you are not ready for it – you drop’.

 

There was a man called Ukibe who had a noodle shop opposite an abandoned shrine.

He was devout, so every day he used to clean it.

One day a travelling monk passed by…

Ukibe pretends to be a deaf monk:

Monk – How far has your heart extended?

Ukibe – My noodle shop is big.

Monk – Have you reached the Ten Levels?

Ukibe – 500 yen. (He has mastered the 5 precepts).

Monk – Have you met the three Buddhas?

Ukibe – Thinks he is trying to knock down the price. sticks out his tongue.

Monk runs away thinking he has met the greatest Master.

They speak different body language.

The monk is talking about the Enlightenment

Ukibe is talking about his noodle shop.

Classical Man

Posted in Buddhism, Kobudo, Life Strategy, Masters, Newsletter, Niei Chi

Unplug

Posted in Fitness, Health, Health and Wellness, Newsletter, Niei Chi, Nutrition

Untitled

Posted in Humour, Newsletter

Aug 21 solar eclipse mass meditation from Hanshi Platt

Time: 2.10pm EDT

Duration; 15 mins

Hanshi Platt - CMAC Sensei Wallace Platt, 10th Dan, Hanshi CMAC Founder and Head InstructorGreeting to All,
We are now in the 888 portal between eclipses of a powerful manifestation energy that will be used as a focus of co-creation energy 
for the mass mediation .
Monday August 21 at 2:10pm EDT duration 15 minutes.
This will involve both on and off world groups in this dimension and others. 
I want our group to participate as best we can by setting up dojo meditations during that time and for those that cannot be present they can always be present in their mind.
If each dojo has even a minimum of three students in the group it will be very impacting.
 
All off world and on world are following this basic format:

1. Use your own method to get everyone to settle in, using breathing etc., induce an alpha-theta state.

2.state intent to unify -harmonize -heal the planet and enhance the planetary liberation process via all entities

3.visualize a pillar of wh light  from the galactic central sun coming down through our sun-moon and each individual to the core of the earth

4. visualize a pillar of wh light now coming up from the earth core through all individuals then moon-sun and out to the solar system and galaxy.

5. visualize yourself now in two pillars of light one going up  one going down then see a rose quartz colour wave of energy coming down between the pillars through you then into the earth

6.hold this image for the duration of 15mins or longer if you like re-affirm intent anytime through the process.

Starting at 2:10 EDT and going for 15min no one will miss totality.

 

Thank you for Participating.

Yours in the Spirit of Budo

Hanshi Platt.

 

 

 
Posted in Announcement, Buddhism, Environment, Health, Health and Wellness, Kobudo, Masters, Meditation, Newsletter, Niei Chi, Note from Hanshi Platt, Philosophy, Youth

Maestro Urban

Posted in Masters, Newsletter, Philosophy

The Physics of Karate Do by Mr. Harris Snyder

Why do the techniques we are taught work so well?

An area of considerable interest (in my experience) among martial arts students is the

interface between karate and physics.  Are there any habits we’ve been picking up that actually make us less effective and should be corrected? What’s a good scientific or quantitative way to assess these things? How should I strike to maximize the damage I will inflict, or to achieve the best balance of damage to time, or even to inflict exactly the right amount of damage and not do more than is needed? Etc, etc. With this post, I’m starting what will likely be a long-term investigation into some of these questions. I’ll begin with some physics concepts and how they do and don’t apply to what we do in karate Do.

We can start with Force. A more forceful blow will, of course, result in a more effective technique, just as your intuition would suggest. But how can we quantify force? What should we do to maximize the force we exert? Newton’s second law, F = m a, tells us that “force” (measured in Newtons) is the product of mass and acceleration, but we must be cautious in how we apply this equation. It is tempting to read it as “a technique which is accelerating will be more forceful than one which is traveling at constant velocity”, but that isn’t the case. Consider a baseball pitch. Suppose you’re standing 10 meters from a competent pitcher, who hurls a baseball at you. As soon as it leaves his hand, there’s nothing continuing to accelerate it forward if we neglect air resistance, then the ball would travel at constant speed until it hit you. Constant speed – zero acceleration, which would imply zero force.
But that baseball would hurt, no?
If we factor in air resistance, then the ball is actually slowing down, so it has a negative acceleration along it’s direction of travel. So F = m a, in this case gives us a negative force, which makes even less sense. Newton’s second law is (of course) a good model of reality (i.e. correct for most intents and purposes), but we must be careful in how we interpret it, (more on force later).
I would argue that the main quantities that you want to look at to estimate the effectiveness of a karate Do technique are momentum, energy, and power (and concepts related to those, that I’ll discuss in a moment).

Energy is a difficult term to define, because it can take so many forms. Let’s go with “energy is the potential to cause change”. If you’re well rested and fed (have lots of energy), you can shovel a whole lot of dirt (or something), thereby rearranging the world around you. If you’re exhausted, most of that dirt is going to have to stay where it is, because you don’t have enough energy to move it. Similarly, a bullet that’s traveling very fast (has a lot of kinetic energy) is going to rearrange whatever it hits more severely than one that’s casually flicked off a table. Kinetic energy is equal to half of mass times velocity squared (so faster moving techniques have more kinetic energy behind them). Kinetic energy is definitely a useful quantity, but keep in mind that in a karate technique, there’s a follow-through (or “impact” ) phase, where you’re still using your muscles – there’s more to this kind of impact than just the kinetic energy of your hand or foot right before it hits the target.

Energy is related to another physical quantity: Work. You can think of work as being the mechanical manifestation of energy. Shoveling all that dirt, for example, is doing work. More precisely, spending energy (that you get from your food, etc) to do mechanical work (physically moving and rearranging things). Energy is measured in Joules (or kilowatt-hours, as appear on your electricity bill, which are defined in relation to Joules).

Power is the rate at which work is done/energy is spent: amount work done per second, or energy spent per second (depending on what exactly you’re measuring the power of). Power is measured in Watts, where a Watt is a Joule per second.

In practical terms, an effective technique, I argue, is one that does a lot of work very quickly. So both work and power need to be as high as possible. Why is it important to do the work quickly? Well, because slowly pushing someone backwards and smashing their rib cage with a side kick could be doing the same amount of work. Mathematically, work is force times distance. W = F d. Work is pushing something some distance, but it doesn’t factor in time at all. If you push on the surface of an object, that force will be transferred through intermolecular forces through the entire object, causing the whole object to move. If you knock hard on the same surface, you get a vibration (sound). There’s a sharp disruption in the intermolecular positions, and that disruption propagates through the material as a vibration (i.e. a sound wave). Hitting even harder, you might permanently deform the face of the object which you struck. The same applies, roughly speaking, to an opponent’s body. The same amount of work done over a longer time will tend to move th

e opponent’s whole body, but if done over a short period of time, the zone of impact must absorb more of the work (there isn’t time for it to be redistributed), so you are more likely to break bone and destroy tissue. This explains why kime is so important. You want short duration, highly energetic impacts for maximum damage.
Okay, so for a damaging karate technique, you want do do a lot of work very quickly.

self defense 3 - Classical Martial Arts Centre - Toronto Central RegionPractically speaking, how do we increase work? W = F d.

The d is easier to deal with – one way to increase that distance is by following your techniques through – ending the punch a little ways into the target, rather than right on the surface. But what about the F? I just finished explaining why Newton’s second law is a bit tricky to apply in this context, so how do we figure out F? Well, unfortunately, it’s a function of how muscles work. This article will be followed up with a second part, after I’ve found some solid information about what the force curve for typical muscles looks like. That being said, we all know on an intuitive level what more versus less force feels like. Whatever the exactrelationship is between a muscle’s exerted force and it’s length, rate of expansion, and whatever else it may depend on, we all know what it means to apply more force with muscles.

 

What if your goal with a particular technique is to send the opponent flying backwards, more so than damaging internal tissues? In this case, what you’re trying to maximize is probably impulse. Impulse is the average force of a collision multiplied by time. So a high impulse technique is a hard push that lasts a long time, rather than a “crack”-like brief explosion of delivered energy. Impulse determines the change in momen

tum after a collision, where momentum is the product of mass and velocity. So, the higher the impulse of a collision, the higher the end velocity of the opponent will be (this being reduced by their mass of course – heavier targets are harder to move).

As a final thought, some of the concepts discussed help to partially explain why rotating your hip to punch of kick harder is so effective (when compared with just using your limb muscles). When you throw more of your body into a technique, your effective mass (for the purpose of the collision) is higher. Colliding with your opponent’s body stops your movement (a deceleration occurs during the collision), and F = m a tells us that the larger this deceleration and the larger the moving mass, the greater the force of the collision. The greater the force, the greater the work done because W = F d (assuming you follow through and actually end your technique a little ways past the surface of your target – so that you’re acting through a distance). A technique with more of your mass behind it will also have a higher impulse for the same reason (higher Force), and so will send the opponent reeling harder. I believe there’s more going on in the hip rotation than only this, but that’s a discussion for another day.
The conclusions here should line up well with your intuition from your karate training. Throw
your body into your techniques, use kime (which leads to quick, intense collisions) to cause damage. We can examine specific techniques in more fine-grained detail once we’ve got a quantitative grip on the behaviour of human muscles.

Sheldon - Classical Martial Arts Centre - Toronto Central Region - Martial Arts classes offered in Toronto - Adults and Children - Karate-Do, Jiu Jitsu, Self-Defense, Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Gung, Ba Gwa, Iaido, Jodo, Kobudo, Ancient Weaponry, Kali.Until next time!

Mr. Snyder,
(Would be Nidan), holds an Honours Bachelor of Science (physics specialist program) from the University of Toronto.”

 

Posted in Fitness, Newsletter, Original Articles

Introduction to Chakras From “Chakras for beginners” 5

The Symbolism of the Chakras

The chakras are traditionally represented through symbols. The functions and nature are described not through words but through symbolic images. This is the traditional approach of all esoteric traditions, for the symbol is richer in meaning than the word. Each symbol and its wide range of associations needs to be offered to the deeper levels of the mind through meditation. In fact the fullness of the symbolic code cannot be understood except through the process of meditation. The unbroken teaching lineage preserved through Laya yoga offers the age0old symbols to the contemporary world.

Each chakra is described primarily as a lotus. This flower is rooted in the mud, rises through the waters and blooms upon the surface. Here is an underlying symbolism, which represents the journey from the earth to spirit. Each lotus has a different number of petals, which reveals the complexity of the chakra at both physical and psychic levels corresponding to the number of vortices within the chakra. These petals are also coloured in accordance with symbolic code.

Animal symbols are attributed to the first five chakras. These express the nature of the chakra. Each of the first five chakras is also attributed to an elemental symbol. These symbols need to be integrated in meditation if we are to understand their significance. The absence of animal and elemental symbols at the sixth and seventh chakras also expresses a function of the higher centres.

The chakras, with the exception of the crown centre, are attributed a mantra, a sounded meditation which has the power to awaken the chakra through its own vibration. The mantra is accompanied by a yantra, a geometric form which again expresses the essential nature of the chakra. This too needs to be understood through the internal process of meditation. The centres are also attributed to carious deities. This sacred personification reminds us of the living nature of the centres. We may approach each centre through the aegis of its presiding deity.

Let us now approach the blueprint of our being with due respect and understanding.

Symbolism is an instrument of knowledge and the most ancient and fundamental method of expression, one which reveals aspects of reality which escape other modes of expression.

-J.C. Cooper

Practice

It is not difficult to become attuned to your own energy field. You might like to try the following exercise. Most people are surprised to discover that they can actually feel an emanation at the very first attempt. As with all things, practice makes perfect. The more often you do this exercise, the more success you will have.

Sit with your palms facing but not touching one another. Slowly move the palms away from each other. Bring the palms back close together. Establish a gentle rhythm, moving together and apart in a bouncing motion. It usually happens that people quite suddenly and unexpectedly experience a feeling best described as a magnetic force. This sensation cannot be confused with general body heat or warmth. It is such a specific sensation. Close your eyes. Become aware of your breathing. On the outbreath visualise white light pouring out from the centre of the palms in a steady stream. People are both amazed and delighted when they lock onto it.

When you experience this, you may begin to pull the hands further apart. Eventually the contact will break, and you may start again. Palm to palm contact is easiest to work with first. When you are comfortable with this you can make fingertip/fingertip contact, or use the fingertips of one hand against the palm of the other. The process of sensitising the hands to the energy field will prepare you for making contact with your own chakra energy.

Posted in Buddhism, Health and Wellness, Kobudo, Meditation, Newsletter, Niei Chi
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