Author: Dennis

Vajra Visions Newsletter

Magical Thinking in Meditation & Martial Arts

Vajra Visions Newsletter
Vajra Visions

Magical Thinking in Qigong & Martial Arts
In my previous post, I referred to Magical Thinking in regards to self-image, and choosing to (re)start an enjoyable form of exercise. Now I’d like to share this concept to transform your approach to training, and being, especially in meditation and martial arts practice.  Most people interpret Magical Thinking as being unrealistic, immature, flaky or just plain weird. What I’m suggesting, instead, is to open your perception to realize the wonderful and miraculous in everything around us and inside of us, that most of us take for granted. 


The Bridge Between Science and Magic  

Life, by its own existence is miraculous. If we consider the prevailing theory for the creation of the Cosmos, the myriads of particles, molecules, atoms, space and energy that manifest in our Universe, to the evolution of life and ourselves, is incomprehensibly vast and magnificent. 
We are stardust manifest into conscious, living beings. Consider the incredible diversity of life on this planet Earth, to the boggling complexity of our bodily systems, all the processes that happen within us to create the living, breathing symbiotic beings that we are, to live in synchronicity with our world. 


If we bring this deeper awareness of ourselves in connection to our world, we arrive to a profound appreciation for not only our lives, but of the living Cosmos as well, and the ways in which we are all connected. And if we bring that awareness, appreciation and inspiration to our Qigong and Martial Arts practice, it transforms us from the inside out. 


The Magic of Qigong 

Consider the amazing energy and space harnessed in each oxygen molecule, the profound mechanisms in the process of our cardiovascular system as it cycles the oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of our entire body, a process we most often don’t think about or feel, because it is a basic autonomous process that keeps us alive.  In Qigong, or “Breath/Energy Work”, we are consciously gathering the essence and energy of the air we breathe to refine and heal ourselves, from an internal, vibrational and cellular level, from the inside out; microcosm to macrocosm. We are consciously harnessing and refining this Essential Energy to increase our awareness and empower us, to tap into the hidden potential we all have. 


The main point is to have a paradigm shift in your perception of life, to being completely present to the miraculous, magical potential we all hold within us. In each and every moment. To go from rushing around in life, worrying and spinning to exhaustion from all the distractions, stuck in our heads, lost in our fears and self-doubts, longing to escape from the monotony of the daily grind — to becoming fully aware of your being, here and now, in the amazing universe we’re all a part of. Embrace the magical, wonderful power of it all. Spark your imagination to tap into your vast potential. 


It all starts with our own daily meditation and martial arts practice. Instead of being stuck in your head, rushing through reps of exercises and forms, watching the clock as you cram training time by forcing yourself to change from the shame of some aspect you despise into a projection of perfection — focus on being here, now, centered, feeling who you are, where you are at, what you are doing in the moment. Let go of who you think you are, and feel what you truly are. This is the first step in reclaiming your power and feeling the magic within you and all around you. 
In meditation and mindful martial arts practice, this is the way to let go of our fears, break through barriers of self-limitation, to tap into the limitless potential of what we can become. 


Update – Mace Martial Arts Dojo/Guan: 

Since moving to Shoreline in November, we’ve been transforming our 2-car garage into our new training hall. We have finished painting, have most of the mats already, and plan to get the rest of the mats and training equipment soon. While still a work in progress, we are holding Bagua Zhang classes in the new space on Sundays, 11am to 12:30pm. 

I’m teaching private lessons in the same space. It would be great to have you join in!

Guan, West, February 25, 2019
Guan, NW, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, NE, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, SE, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, SW, Feb 25, 2019

Happy New Year — with Magical Thinking & a New Location!

Welcome to our new Dojo, renovations underway!
Welcome to our new Dojo, renovations underway!

Happy New Year! A lot has changed over the last couple years since I’ve sent a message, and I’m excited to share new developments in the works!

(Re-)Starting an exercise regimen 

As many of us are setting intentions and resolutions for better self care, diets and exercise regimens with the New Year, I encourage making a fresh start with some helpful advice. 


Magical Thinking 

Most of us interpret “Magical Thinking” as being unrealistic and naive. I invite you to re-interpret “Magical Thinking” as seeing the miraculous in the most mundane things. To be completely present to experiencing the moment. Having the wonder of a child at the simplest things sparks the imagination, lighting the fire of genius we all have, and is the first step to Mastery. Specifically, use “Magical Thinking” to cause a paradigm shift in how you see yourself, how you perceive your exercise and training, and it will change your whole life, from the inside out. 

Instead of comparing yourself to others, convincing yourself that you’re somehow less than (complaining that you are too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, etc) — start with self-compassion, be patient with yourself, accept yourself for who you are, where you’ve been, where you are now, learn from your failures, and appreciate the unique miracle that you are. This is the first step to real, continual healing and growth. 

Many of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy, doubt, failure and self-loathing. Those impulses of self-disdain motivate most of us to start an exercise program — to change us from what we hate about ourselves into something else that we are not. These struggles with self-image lead many of us to force ourselves through exercise routines we don’t like, widening the rift between our mind, body, heart and soul — we check out, and the disconnect can lead to injuries, more downtime and “dis-ease.” Your mindset, perspective and intention can either sabotage your health goals, or be your most powerful first step and motivator. So instead of starting from self-hatred, embrace the unique miracle that you are, so that you can appreciate all that you could become as your best self. 


Your Path to Joy 

As you find your way, choose an activity you love to do, or have always wanted to try, so it isn’t a chore, self-punishment or obligation. The key is to choose something that you would enjoy doing daily, with enthusiasm! Training that feels more like play to you, that has a purpose and recharges your spirit and nourishes your soul, is the best way to grow and heal day by day. Some people enjoy dancing, yoga, or a sport. 

Defaulting to a quick path for change, like a random gym or infomercial machine, and forcing yourself to mindlessly grind through self-imposed torture is often the kind of mind-body disconnect that leads to injuries, and short lived solutions that rarely yield long term results. It’s always healthier and more effective to choose a purpose-driven activity that brings you joy, that builds long-term healthy habits because it inspires you be totally present in mind, body, heart and soul, so you can loose yourself to experiencing the moment.  


I love Martial Arts as a path because it is progressively challenging, multifaceted practice for developing the whole person; it has aspects of artistic expression, scientific exploration, athletic achievement and spiritual cultivation rooted in meditative yogic forms of exercise, as well as teaching life protection skills. Martial Arts is the most mindful, purpose driven and wholistic path for health, fitness and personal growth. The martial art that I practice, Bagua Zhang, is to me the purest integration of all these multifaceted life cultivation practices. 


Set Goals and Practice!

Set a goal, create a routine that will move you to that goal, and do the practice. Every day. Self care starts with appreciating yourself for who you are. “Magical Thinking” means being totally present with the wonder of the moment, and discovering the hidden potential that lies dormant within you. Find a path, a system that you love so that you enjoy doing it everyday. So much so, that when life happens and derails your plans, you will make other time in your day to treat and take care of yourself, so you continue to heal and grow, even when you can’t see the changes that continue happening from within you. Appreciate yourself enough to do what you love to do, to create the best version of yourself to share with the world! 

New Dojo Location 

We have a new Dojo location! Since moving to Shoreline in November, we’ve been cleaning out the garage and have started transforming it into our new training hall. We have started painting, have some of the mats coming in the next few days, and have specific plans for getting more training equipment soon. While still a work in progress, we are holding Bagua Zhang classes in the new space on Sundays, 11am to 12:30pm. 

It would be great to have you join in!

Please spread the good news, and advise if you plan to attend. ⛩